Abad: daylight dialogue spotlights long-term reform

MANILA, July 15 (PNA) — Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad on Tuesday said the Daylight Dialogue — held at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang Palace — was a prime opportunity for the government to reflect on its accomplishments in facilitating good governance in the country, as well as for engaging various stakeholders to boost the Aquino administration’s reform agenda.

The Daylight Dialogue was held after the success of the Good Governance Summit in January this year.

As with the summit, the Daylight Dialogue gathered various members of civil society, the academe, media, international development organizations, and the private sector to discuss the progress and outlook of the Aquino administration’s governance initiatives.

Other participants in the Daylight Dialogue include representatives from international civil society groups, such as those based in Switzerland, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.

“International organizations have taken great interest in our good governance efforts and how we’ve been able to pull them off. The Daylight Dialogue is a wonderful venue for exchanging insights on how governments can be more transparent and accountable, and not just from the perspective of those working in the bureaucracy,” he said.

“In fact, I think that the best feature of the Daylight Dialogue is its explicit emphasis on reform discourse. No government has a monopoly on governance knowledge or political wisdom,” he added.

“Other stakeholders in our good governance movement have a lot to bring to the table, based on their experience in working with the public sector, local communities, and other politically oriented organizations,” Abad said.

He also noted that the event, which will hold plenaries to facilitate discussions between government and stakeholders, was crucial not just for highlighting the reform gains tracked by the Aquino administration, but also for identifying ways to institutionalize good governance practices.

“It’s not enough for us to lay down the groundwork of reform and hope it all works out somehow. The challenge for us is to design and implement reforms so they will outlast the Aquino administration and gain traction over many more years. Ultimately, the goal is to institutionalize reform and create a political culture that favors transparency, accountability, and citizen empowerment above all else,” Abad said. (PNA)