A prime example of this is in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija wherein Mayor Marivic Belena was able to increase the income of her farmers by matching them with Jollibee Foundation so that they would have a direct access to the market which directly buys their crops instead of going through several middlemen. This program has enabled farmers to earn at least P 100,000 every year, this amount is a far cry from the less than P 40,000 that they used to earn.
Through this program, the farmers are now able to send their children to school and are now able to take care of the health needs of their families. Recently, this program was chosen as one of the awardees of the Galing Pook Foundation, an annual recognition given to effective and innovative programs of local government units all over the country.
Developing champions for good governance in education
At Kaya Natin! (KN) and the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG), we have also partnered with SEAOIL, known as one of the leading independent oil companies in the country. This partnership has brought about the SEAOIL-KN-ASOG Champions for Good Governance in Education. The program provides training to local government officials from all over the country to enable them to develop responsive and effective education reforms that address the needs of their constituents.
Since the program started in 2011, it has already trained more than 100 local government officials. These officials have since been influenced to also take a more active role in solving the basic education needs of their constituents. SEAOIL is showing that the private sector can also play a major role in terms of ensuring that our local government units are able to practice transparency, accountability and good governance in their respective communities. The company is showing that big businesses need not stay on the sidelines as the country continues its march towards development.
Recognizing local champions of health governance
Finally, last January 28, pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) together with KN, ASOG, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DoH) officially launched its 1st Champions for Health Governance Awards which aims to recognize local government units from all over the country that have been able to address the health needs of their constituents.
According to MSD, the awards will hopefully serve as an inspiration to more Mayors to make public health a priority of their administration. What makes this awards all the more unique is that the criteria to be used to choose the awardees will not only be the effectiveness of their health programs but also whether or not they practice good governance and leadership with integrity in their respective local government units. There will be five awardees with each awardee receiving P 200,000 that they can use to implement a public health program in their city or municipality. In order to scale up the program, the awardees will also be given a chance to share their best practices to other fellow Mayors in forums and seminars that will be organized all over the country.
This program initiated by MSD is just a first step towards helping more Mayors develop responsive, innovative and effective health programs for their constituents. For more information, visit http://healthgovernance.weebly.com or you can also call Wade Eusores at (02) 990-3282.
Doing good is good for business
With the myriad of problems facing our country, our government alone will not be able to address these issues overnight, this is the reason why we need more companies like Jollibee Foundation, SEAOIL and MSD who will also make it part of their business to help our government in addressing these social problems.
As MSD Philippines Managing Director Sanjiv Navangul told me, doing good and helping others is definitely good for business because as the community improves so does the business which is also part of the community. I hope that many more business leaders will think and act like Navangul because through the continued synergy of the private and public sector we can expect that we will still live to see the day that the Philippines will again be one of the leading nations in Asia.
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me at Twitter: twitter.com/harveykeh
Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government and is also the Lead Convenor of the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership.