Synergeia Mayors Use Measurable Outcomes to Gauge Governance Success

4 September 2015

Synergeia Foundation gathered a panel of local chief executives together from its roster of partners to share best practices in education governance for the “Yapak ni Jesse” Mayors Conference in Education on Monday, Aug. 31. The forum was held in conjunction with Galing Pook’s Governance Fair held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia under the theme “Mamamayan Mamamayani.”

The mayors shared their individual successes in implementing education programs in their respective local government units. They attributed part of their success to the invaluable partnership with Synergeia that patterns its education governance principles from that of former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Sec. Jesse, who was a Synergeia trustee, is recognized as the embodiment of good governance particularly as he raised the quality of education of Naga City through transparent and participatory leadership during his term as mayor. He also introduced progressive reforms as DILG secretary before his untimely demise in 2012.

“Jesse won’t spend money on anything he wouldn’t be able to measure.” – Cong. Leni Robredo

Naga Representative Leni Robredo graced the forum with her presence and imparted personal principles that contributed to her husband’s success despite the many challenges he faced. “Jesse won his first term only by a slim majority,” she said, citing the many opposition he experienced in the process. “It was hard but that’s how he learned to innovate.” She shared that Sec. Jesse was adverse to dole outs. “Jesse won’t spend from his own pocket. He believed he would make himself vulnerable the moment he used money meant for his own family.” Sec. Jesse instead made sure he allocated every cent of public funds on programs that benefitted the majority. “Jesse won’t spend money on anything that he wouldn’t be able to measure,” she added.  Despite refusing to succumb to the norm of Philippine politics, Sec. Jesse still won elections because he produced results. “Kaya hindi rin nasanay na nanghihingi sa akin ang tao,” Cong. Leni said. She lauded the initiative under Yapak ni Jesse citing the  attempt to evolve by spreading the advocacy of good governance not just for education but for other relevant sectors.

“You can’t claim success if you can’t measure it.” – Cong. Sherwin Gatchalian

The panel of mayors consisted of Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela City, Joet Garcia of Balanga City, Bataan, Oscar Moreno of Cagayan De Oro, Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi, Maguindanao, Mayor Alfredo Coro II of Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte, Mayor Joselito Escutin of Dao, Capiz and Mayor Jefree Alonsabe of Alimodian, Iloilo. Valenzuela City Representative Sherwin Gatchalian acted as facilitator for the forum. “Sec. Jesse made it a point that the mayors act as the driving force to education,” Cong. Gatchalian said in his opening message before presenting the panel of mayors. He stressed the importance of measuring outcomes that affirmed each mayor’s achievements.   “You can’t claim success if you can’t measure it,” he said.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian said there was no need to compete with national government programs but rather work proactively with it in order to gain more results.   “You can’t compete with DepEd but you can parallel DepEd,” he said. Valenzuela City’s Education 360 Investment Program was recognized as one of ten outstanding local government programs by Galing Pook Foundation.

Apart from measurability, community engagement was a recurring strategy all the mayors cited as paramount to effective governance. Mayor Oscar Moreno  shared the advantage of expanding the local school board to include community stakeholders particularly in fund management.“The SEF is the easiest to steal,” he said frankly. The special education fund is an additional 1% levy that is collected together with real property taxes paid to the local government. Its allocation is under the control of the LSB. Moreno explained that the mandated 8 members of the LSB can easily act in cohort  to manipulate SEF allocation for personal gain since they regularly work closely together. Extending membership to the community promotes accountability because stakeholders can directly participate in program planning and implementation. CDO LSB’s membership is designed whereby a quorum will be reached only if enough members from the community are present.

“Everything we do have to have community ownership,” Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi, Maguindanao said. Piang, who heads a municipality with varying cultures that include Christians, Muslims and indigenous people, is a strong advocate of people empowerment and youth leadership. Upi youth currently run  the municipality’s town center and children’s park.

Dao Mayor Bo Escutin cited education summits as an effective way of forming a closer relationship with the stakeholders and becoming in tune with their needs while Mayor Jeefre Alonsabe of Alimodian stressed that leaders should continue to give their best to the people. “Public service is a public trust”, he said.

Mayor Joet Garcia shared Balanga City’s goal to become a university town and the aggressive steps to achieve it. “By 2020, we want to be a world-class university town,” he said adding that this meant making a community that reflects the ideals of a school environment which is safe and conducive to learning and one that offers job opportunities for everyone.

Partnership with Synergeia gives credibility to the local government, attested Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo Coro II, saying that more partners came in after he started his relationship with the foundation. Del Carmen boasts of the highest National Achievement Test score in the country in 2013 owing to its Education Quality Improvement Program (Project EQUIP).

The mayors candidly answered questions and offered more insights during the question and answer portion of the forum. They acknowledged that poverty remains the biggest barrier to development and that improving access to education is one way to address it. ”

The mayors candidly answered questions and offered more insights during the question and answer portion of the forum. They acknowledged that poverty remains the biggest barrier to development and that improving access to education is one way to address it. ”

Among the prominent figures who came to support the event is former Sarangani Governor Miguel Dominguez, Mayor Jose Alba of Mambusao, Capiz, Mayor Juancho Alvarez of Ajuy, Iloilo, Mayor Florencio Bentrez of Tuba Benguet, Mayor Raysalam Mangondato of Balindong, Lanao Del Sur, Mayor Alexis San Luis II of Pili, Camarines Sur, Mayor Nasheeba Sumagayan of Taraka, Lanao Sur, Mayor Milliard Villanueva of Concencion, Iloilo,  and other representatives from our partner LGUs.

For images from the event, please visit Synergeia’s Facebook page.

No summary




Related News