Ex-Cabinet men to Noynoy: Adopt good governance agenda

By Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jun 18 2010 04:19 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2010 12:19 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Former Cabinet members and senior government officials have called on President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to jumpstart the democratic foundation of governance started by his late mother.

The group, Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO), proposed a “good governance agenda” that basically provides for “a unifying framework” for the next administration in the next six years.

It said the efforts would redound to the government providing an enabling environment for:

  • the modernization of public infrastructures;
  • the protection of the environment;
  • the opening of all major sectors and industries of the economy; and,
  • raising the gross domestic product to 8% by 2016.

Catalytic acts

The group said strengthening the country’s democratic institutions will require a massive effort from the rest of the country.

It proposed three “catalytic acts” meant to spur the whole nation into moving.

The first, it said, is “for [Aquino] to call all citizens and join him in a national movement for responsible citizenship. He should not only call for it; he should head it and lead it.”

The FSGO said governance starts with things such as compliance of laws, even small things such as traffic laws.

Secondly, Aquino should direct all government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), as well as local government units to execute a good governance program.

The agencies should set priorities they will undertake in the next six years, it added. The group said the performance and contribution of each unit and individual should be assessed.

Third, it said Aquino should “call for effective public-private sector partnership through the formalization and institutionalization of a multi-sector governance coalition...” The latter should ensure transparency in all government transactions, it said.

The impact of the good governance agenda will trickle down to the “basic institutions that have been weakened over the years,” the FSGO added.

Pressured to perform

In an interview with ABS-CBN on Thursday, FSGO member Jesus Estanislao said a copy of the proposed agenda has already been sent to Aquino.

“I haven't talked with him directly, but I understand he'll probably be asking for a briefing on what this means, and the indication that I've gotten…[Maybe he will not] want to talk theory, he wants to discuss actual experience from the ground,” he said.

Estanislao is a former finance secretary.

The pressure for him to perform is there however, he added.

Besides, some of the members of FSGO will be part of Aquino’s team, he said.

“We're showing that good governance is good politics, and that is, of course. what we would like to have President Noynoy deliver to the Filipino people…The short end of this [is that] President Cory initiated the democratic institution building,” he said.