Consummatum Est! It is finished! It is done!
The First Philippine Good Governance Summit (PGGS) has formally closed last Monday (February 03) and I can say that every moment and experience that we’ve had during the four-day PGGS will forever be treasured. The pail of sweat that we have invested in the PGGS has definitely paid off with so much fun, excitement, learning and the camaraderie fostered among the delegates.
We started the preparation for the PGGS as early as August last year when we had the initial organizational groundwork. Thereafter, we started to think of a better concept on how to improve NCPAG’s annual student-led national gathering to become more relevant and accommodating to more youth. Anchored on the theme Advancing Good Governance Through Youth Capacity Building, we have to decided expand the target audience of the gathering to welcome students from various courses recognizing the fact the good governance is not just the concern and responsibility of Public Administration students.
At first we were anxious whether or not this new brand will click to achieve our objective of convening students from various disciplines to come-up with project proposals that will address issues that involve the youth in five key sectors, which summarized in the acronym HELEHR – Health, Education, Livelihood, Environment and Human Rights. But we were all overwhelmed by the presence of more than 160 delegates who heeded our call for more active participation and involvement of young people in the promotion of good governance.
Then the first day came. We met for the first time the delegates from various colleges and universities across the archipelago and we were inspired of their enthusiasm to participate in the sessions and workshops that we have prepared for them, despite their tiring journey from their hometowns–as far as Tuguegarao from the North and Cagayan de Oro from the South. The side competitions were successful unexpectedly since more than majority of the delegates showed interest in showcasing their talents in essay writing, poster making and extemporaneous speaking regarding our recovery efforts after Typhoon Yolanda.
The second day was very informative because we had four series of plenary session from credible speakers with the objective of equipping the delegates with the theoretical and factual foundations that they can use in developing their project proposals. Ms. Farzana Ahmed of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ms. Happy Feraren of Bantay.PH, and Mr. Patrick Lim of the Department of Budget and Management gave their respective views regarding the Philippine good governance. Mr. Jyleazar dela Rosa of the Filipino Liberal Youth acquainted the delegates of the current national youth situation and how the youth can contribute to the resolution of the problems of their own sector. Apprentice Asia Winner Jonathan Yabut shared his journey to success to inspire the delegates in their development of programs and projects, while Mr. Luigi de Vera of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Foundation (TAYO Foundation) showcased the best practices of the youth in various impact programs and projects that he have handled. One unforgettable part of the plenary sessions is the ‘groupie’ shot where the delegates had the chance to have a group picture with the speaker in a quick and orderly manner.
The workshops took place on the third day where two sessions were held. During the morning session, facilitators from ADB headed by Mr. Chris Morris assisted the delegates in the formulation of the Philippine Youth Roadmap on Good Governance revolving around the fundamental pillars–transparency, accountability and participation–as well as other cross-cutting issues. The delegates exemplified outstanding participation during the breakout discussions and shared all their experiences that made their inputs very reflective of the youth’s sentiments in a serious concern that is good governance.
In the afternoon session, the sectoral project development sessions took place with the assistance of experts from the UP College of Public Health, Department of Education, UP Institute of Small Scale Industries, Aksyon Klima and MTV Exit. A combination of unique and youthful proposals came out from the sessions. After a whole day of serious business, the delegates had fun during the mini-game Egg Drop where the ultimate goal is protecting the egg from breaking after a drop from NCPAG’s third floor. They also presented lively and funny presentations during the talents’ night.
The fourth and last day was held in the ADB Headquarters in Mandaluyong City where no less than the Country Director welcomed the Summit delegates. The chosen representatives of each group had the opportunity to present their respective outputs where partner non-government organizations can critique, comment and suggest.
The last day was highlighted by the inspirational message from Cong. Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo who gave her piece on good governance and transparency, parallel to the principles espoused by her late husband, former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. I can never forget the quote the she and her late husband keep on saying – kailangan ng bayan ng mga pinunong hindi lang mahusay o kaya ay matino; ang kailangan natin ay mga pinunong mahusay at matino (The country needs leaders who not just a choice between effective or decent; we need leaders who are both effective and decent) – highlighting the importance of both skills and values in the promotion of good governance and quality administration.
Everything seemed to have happened really fast and the seven months of preparations has now developed into a grand four-day national event. As I have said earlier, every moment and experience that we’ve had during the four-day PGGS will forever be treasured and we will always feel #SepAnx (separation anxiety) from clingy and bonded delegates from all over the Philippines. Although the PGGS is finished, we always say that we are just beginning in keeping the fire of service and dedication burning in the hearts of our delegates for post-PGGS activities and outputs are more significant than what we have done in UP-NCPAG.
Papatunayan natin na ang kabataang Pilipino ay hindi maiiwan sa pangitaing may magagawa tayo. Hindi rin tayo titigil sa estadong may ginagawa tayo. Dahil kikilos tayo upang dumating tayo sa pagkakataong masasabi natin na para sa bansang ito, may nagawa na tayo. (We, the Filipino youth, will prove that we can achieve a lot. We will not stop at a point where we are doing something. We will move until we are able to say that we have done a lot for our country.)
On behalf of the Steering and Organizing Committee of the First Philippine Good Governance Summit, we thank all of you for being part of our lives, for being part of NCPAG’s history, and for being part of the country’s dynamic hopes. We hope to see you next year so we can hear what you have done to your respective communities after PGGS2014!
Photo credit: Philippine Good Governance Summit Team and ADB NGO and Civil Society Center