Sunday July 22, 2018

Governance then, today and tomorrow

JESUS Pilapil Estanislao is coming home to Cebu to launch his 21st book, “Governance in the Philippines: Spanish Colonial Rule (1565-1898).”

Governance has been a passion for this Cebuano who has gone a long way from his childhood days in Lilo-an, Cebu and his school days in the Cebu Normal School (now University) and the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. He widened his horizons by pursuing a Master’s degree in economics from Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. With these impressive credentials, he came back to the Philippines and served in the academe, government and business sectors.

In the academe, he was the founding president of the University of Asia and the Pacific which grew out of the Center for Research and Communication of which he was the founding executive director.

In government, he served as the Economic Planning Secretary of the Philippines under president Corazon C. Aquino. In her presidency, he also served as Secretary of Finance.

In the business sector, he capped his banking career as chairman and chief executive officer of the Development Bank of the Philippines after serving as president of the Associated Bank and chairman of the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank. He has also served as independent director in several corporate boards like the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company and Philamlife Insurance Company.

In the field of governance, he is Chair Emeritus of the Institute of Corporate Directors, which is an advocacy for corporate governance, and of the Institute of Solidarity in Asia which is an advocacy for public governance. He is founding chairman of both these institutes. As a leading figure for governance reforms in the country, he has worked with similar institutes in Southeast Asia, and is the Philippine expert in the Asean corporate governance scorecard initiative.

These accomplishments have earned Estanislao several awards: the Philippine Legion of Honor in 1992, the Philippine Management Man of the Year in 2010, the Outstanding Filipino for governance in 2012 and the Hernando de Soto award for democracy in 2013. All these awards and all his accomplishments he attributes to hard work and his commitment, his passion for governance.

Currently, he is chairman of the Center for Excellence in Governance, the Center for Family Advancement and the Center for School Governance. He is also a visiting professor at the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain. His being a visiting professor at the IESE school has made it possible for him to write his latest well-researched book.

”Governance,” writes Estanislao in his foreword of the book, “has always been a key word. It reflects a shared concern about the integrity and efficacy of the administration of public affairs, whether they be political, economic, and social, for the common good of all, and particularly for the welfare of the ordinary citizen.” He describes his work as “an attempt at drawing from the governance experience in our islands during the Spanish colonial period. From such experience, might there be lessons we can learn in order to apply them to the governance of our public affairs in the next 50 years? The efficacy and discipline with which we practice good governance for our country moving forward into the next five decades are of such critical importance that we need to throw into the enterprise all the governance lessons we can draw from our rich past experience.”

In an interview, he describes his book, as “a look into our past but is future looking: to let go of the past but to learn from it so we Filipinos can learn what to do for our country which would be more according to our own nature, culture, in the next 50 years.”

Estanislao said he stayed in Barcelona for a year and a half to write this book, which also gave him the opportunity to indulge in his favorite pastime: taking long walks in the Barcelona countryside, contemplating the beauty of nature. The book, incidentally, is dedicated to the memory of his first cousin, Vicente R. Pilapil, with whom he grew up and studied, and who majored in history, with a focus on Spain. Estanislao writes: “He would have wanted to co-write this material with me, and his knowledge and advice would have benefited me immensely.”

Jesus P. Estanislao will be in Cebu to formally launch his book “Governance in the Philippines” on June 29 at the University of San Carlos Banquet and Events Hall at 2 p.m.