House leader proposes Robredo Awards for Good Governance

August 22, 2012 10:40 pm 

MANILA, Aug. 22 — If there’s an Oscar for great films or a Grammy for best song, then why not a "Jesse" for good governance.

House Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tanada III on Wednesday broached the idea of creating the "Jesse Robredo Awards for Local Good Governance" as "a way of perpetuating not only the works and the memory of a great man but his principles and management style."

"Alive, he (Robredo) set(s) the standard in public service. It is now the template for the ages. And it (is) up to us the living to make sure that the generations of civil servants will look up to it as the model to be followed," he said.

Tanada’s idea is for the Robredo Awards to honor "outstanding workers and programs in all aspects of local government service, from budget matters to peace and order."

"The categories will include both line of work and field of operations. That way, we can have a 'Best Tanod' as an individual award and , say, a 'Best Financially Managed Town' in the organization category," he noted.

The House leader predicts the list of categories to be long as local governance is complicated.

"Personally, I am batting for a 'Best LGU (local government unit) Website' award one that will have a high FOI quotient," Tanada said, referring to the Freedom of Information legislation that he is pushing.

One other area in which exemplary performance must be recognized, he said, is the one on the environment and climate change adaptation, considering that it is one of the "complex and expensive" challenges local executives confront.

"The Jesse Awards should have a 'green box' as there is a mushrooming of green initiatives in the grassroots. We should be awarding a 'Best in Solid Waste Management' trophy so the best practices of the winner can be replicated nationwide," said Tanada.

He branded the Robredo Awards also as "a search for local heroes, those who toil beyond and above the call of duty without fanfare."

"Actually , there are many Robredos on the ground. He can be the honest and hardworking traffic enforcer who does not leave his post come hell or high water, or the barrio doctor who still makes house calls in the dead of the night," he said.

Tanada admitted though that his idea on what the awards will be "are back of the napkin jottings."

"The mechanics can be finalized in  PPP — or Public Private Partnership — fashion. I would suggest that the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government), the Civil Service Commission (CSC) reach out to the academe , such as the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance and the Ateneo School of Government , and NGOs (non-government organizations) in drafting the guidelines," he said.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should also be there, Tanada insisted, "because it will be the one proposing the amount of cash prizes and dispensing  them to the winners. One other potential source would be from the recently signed RA 10174 or the People’s Survival Fund which I principally authored."

In the case of winning LGUs, he said the prizes can be in the form of SAROs or special allotment request orders, a budget release document indicating that funds have been released for a project, activity or program.

Tanada is hopeful that his idea of a Robredo Awards "will gain traction so that it can be given out next year."

"If the government will pick this up then it should reach out to the academe and the NGOs immediately so that whatever funding requirements can be included in the 2013 national budget," he said.

"And this includes looking for an artist who will design the Jesse statute," he added. (PNA)



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