A COLLEAGUE who spent half of his life in government service affirmed to me that if the guardians and enforcers of good local governance do their job well, half of the problem of the state is already solved.
He said that when all the good laws, policies and programs of the government are executed right by national state personnel highly observant of the state code of ethics, then much of the local corruption, illegal drugs and crimes and bad local governance practices will hardly be committed much less flourish.
Those hellbent on committing corruption and crimes cannot go scot-free for long; they will soon be caught, prosecuted and put behind bars.
I agree. When the executive forces of the state are true to their mandate and commitment, they can change the course of the state, and as well as the “sad fate” of our people.
This leaves us then with state legislators, judiciary bigwigs and their corporate patrons, and those in the LGUs that belong to powerful families and dynasties - to watch, control and stop. They are much harder to deal because they so much wield powers.
Hence, a mass movement-oriented thrust is a must.
This time the guardians and enforcers of good governance must have a multiplier force. They can partner or even accredit and deputize the citizens social organizations (CSOs), sectoral mass organizations, development non-government organizations (NGOs), academic and church institutions, and specific interest groups like the green advocates, among others to act as third-party monitors and action groups against the promoters of bad governance, organized corruptions and crimes.
If I have to appreciate it well, this is the bigger context of DILG’s policy to engage CSOs in ensuring not only good local governance, but towards enhancing a responsive state leadership to the problems and needs, hopes and aspiration of the people especially the poor and powerless.
I know this is not easy for the DILG given tremendous constraints, among which is the government procurement law which effectively limit its enlistment of and support for CSOs and their likes. But the central leadership of DILG and its key units the NBOO, OPDS, BLGD, BLGS and SLGP-PMO are doing their best to overcome constraints and limitations to create better environment for a wider and effective engagement with CSOs.
The CSOs and their likes must also give a longer view to the ongoing initiatives of DILG leadership; again it’s not easy for them to do it given the long frustrations of CSOs over government biases against them, or more precise, against sincere social change-committed CSOs.
But this is one track for CSOs and the DILG and other national line agencies, and vice versa, to try to work together with CSOs to become effective guardian and enforcer of good governance in the local and national levels.
After all, effective good governance begins with the state personnel, and completed in form and substance with the support of the broad mass of organized citizens.
When good governance becomes the order of the day of the state, the basis for bad governance is reduced effectively.
Albert Einstein is right in this regard, “the more we expand our knowledge and imagination, the more we expand the horizon of light, and narrow the dimension of darkness.”
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