12 Philippine public institutions set up as models for anti-corruption and good governance in APEC

MANILA, Nov. 15 (PNA) — Twelve public sector institutions who were declared last month as the Philippines’ first “Islands of Good Governance” (IGG) were presented to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Friday night as beacons for anti-corruption and good governance in the region.

According to Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jess Estanislao, their stories of transformation through good governance are available for others to look at and possibly learn from.

The first IGG include the cities of Balanga in Bataan, Mandaue in Cebu, Talisay in Negros Occidental, Butuan in Agusan del Norte, and Dipolog in Zamboanga del Norte; the Philippine Heart Center, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, the National Electrification Administration (NEA), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The five city governments were cited for their endeavors to improve economic wellness in their locales through programs promoting knowledge-based businesses, agro-forestry, sports and recreation, high-quality manufacturing, and retiree-friendly zones, respectively.

The Philippine Heart Center, on the other hand, was praised for its desire to improve heart health status for the less fortunate.

DTI was cited for its commitment to increase the country’s competitiveness by 2016 from lower third to upper third rank in the World Economic Forum (WEF) global competitiveness report. It has heightened consumer awareness from 66 percent in 2012 to 80 percent this year.

The AFP was recognized for increasing operational readiness of its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) national response units from 64 percent to 80 percent in 2015, while the Philippine Army was hailed for its initiative to craft functional personal scorecards for 100% of the Philippine Army’s non-commissioned officers or 60,000 men and women.

The Philippine Navy was commended for successfully achieving its breakthrough commitments as a Standard of Excellence, Bastion of Innovation, and Sentinel of the Sea, guided by its strategic Sail Plan 2020.

The NEA was credited for being well on its way to attaining 100 percent sitio energization, thus serving an additional 1.4 million consumer connections, and providing P5 billion financial assistance to electric cooperatives.

The only banking institution on the list, the BSP was awarded for continuously being top-ranked globally in policy and regulation and for being the first central bank in the world to establish an enabling environment for financial inclusion.

All were put through a rigorous two-year selection process, including audits by respected firms the Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIA-P), KPMG and R.G. Manabat & Co. and Deloitte and Navarro Amper & Co.

In a speech delivered during the ABAC luncheon with APEC Senior Officials at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City, Dr. Estanislao stressed that the award demands that they should “continue to give good example and inspiration to all other institutions.”

“They are to be re-certified every 3 years: for their observance of the Code of Ethics and Integrity; their practice of solidarity and promotion of entrepreneurship in social enterprises; and their governance outreach proving that social responsibility has been embedded into their transformation program,” he said.

“Even as they share good governance practices, we implore our Philippine public sector institutions to learn from the best anti-corruption and good governance practices from the entire APEC community,” added Estanislao. (PNA)