Editorial: Simply Jesse-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
WHAT would the late Jesse Robredo think of the selfie trend?
A selfie is a photograph taken of oneself and posted on social media. Selfies are so popular, some Netizens say, that 2013 should be declared the Year of the Selfie or urge that the word be entered into dictionaries.
Popular particularly among the young, the selfie is a fad boosted by mobile technology, social networks, and, according to some, self-obsession.
Absorption in the self was not a quality associated with the late Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo.
Last year, Robredo died in a plane crash. It cut short not just a distinguished career in public service but also the reforms he was initiating in governance.
This year, government, civil society and citizens observed August as Jesse Robredo Month.
In an age when looking out for No. 1 dominates many realms—from communication to politics—many Filipinos reconfirm their faith in and commitment to the values that resonated in the public and private persona of Robredo.
Simplicity, hard work, ethics, and excellence were Robredo traits that are worth emulating in service and at home.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III stressed this when he was present, along with Jesse’s widow Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, at an Aug. 15-18 SM City Cebu exhibit honoring the late DILG secretary. This is according to Flornisa M. Gitgano’s Aug. 16 report in Sun.Star Cebu.
As mayor of Naga City and DILG secretary, Robredo did his work without fanfare but achieved results, spent prudentlyand saved public funds, and consulted and included the marginalized in his development plans.
By living a private and public life that could stand close scrutiny, Robredo restored honor in public service, as well as showed how family devotion and public service are complementary.
A year after his death, Robredo’s “Tsinelas leadership” continues to inspire others, both the idealistic and the experienced, to share the stake in governance and serve the greater good and the marginalized.
Carrying the torch
Beyond celebrating the man and his legacy through activities lined up this month, citizens, civil societyand public servants must continue and sustain the reforms Robredo began.
In a privilege speech delivered on Aug. 14, Cebu City Councilor Alvin M. Dizon singled out key reforms in governance that Robredo initiated as DILG secretary.
A hallmark in Robredo’s governance legacy is transparency and accountability to end corruption.
Dizon urged the Cebu City Government to fully implement the Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) instituted by Robredo. This requires local government units (LGUs) to disclose to citizens how public funds are spent.Only LGUs observing the FDP can acquire the Seal of Good Housekeeping awarded annually.
This award is given to LGUs that excel in planning, fiscal management, transparency and accountability, and performance information.
Noting how Robredo participated in resolving local disputes involving the 93-1lot and the Mahiga demolition, Dizon underscored the need for openness and fair play in local officials who must consult and interact with the urban poor and informal settlers in addressing their relocation and resettlement.
Robredo inspires us to pay our respects by emulating his code. Dizon said: “There’s a ‘Jesse’ in each one of us. And what best way to honor the memory of a great man than making our own contributions to advance his cause of good governance and ethical service in government.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2013.