Remembering Jesse Robredo

18 August 2020

Today, August 18, 2020 marks the 8th year of the untimely and unfortunate passing of former Mayor and Secretary Jesse Robredo.  Though he is no longer with us today, his legacy stands tall.  Secretary Jesse showed us the better way to govern through his passion and commitment to good leadership.  His lifetime work was grounded on the principles of accountability, participation, transparency and empowerment.  He left us a framework for good governance. 

One of his most significant and lasting works was his reinvention of the Local School Board when he was Mayor of Naga City.  He expanded the membership of the LSB and with it, programs in education became more revolutionary because more voices were heard.   The community became empowered and put its stake in the education of the children.  

Vice President Leni Robredo once shared with us that when her husband ran for his last term as mayor, his battle cry was “making the best better.”   Jesse Robredo believed that one should not be contented with what one has as there are many better things one can do.  He would often say, “Tayo, dadaan lang. Pero ang lungsod, parating andyan. Paghusayan na natin.”   He held a firm belief that the success of the country will depend on how well local governments serve their constituents.    VP Leni said, “I think that is his greatest legacy.  It is not the programs themselves but it is really the legacy of believing in the goodness and capabilities of our constituents and inspiring them to become better than themselves.  It is the essence of his leadership.”

Through the years, Synergeia Foundation has drawn inspiration and guidance from the blueprint of good governance that Secretary Jesse left to us.  In his honor, we are committed to make his work on education governance a national movement.   We will use his examples to make the work of Local School Boards transparent, collaborative, and effective.  In the words of Synergeia President Milwida Guevara

“Our dearest Mayor and Secretary Jesse, you started this movement, and we give you our promise that we will carry out your mission in education governance. And just like you, we will try to pursue this work with excellence, with honor, and in the service of God and country.”

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