VP to young leaders: Uphold democracy
Vice President Leni Robredo has urged Asia-Pacific’s emerging leaders to have confidence in democracy, stressing that genuine governance is all about sharing power so that others may prosper.
In a speech before the Asia 21 Young Leaders Global Summit attended by over 90 rising business, political and civil society leaders from the region, Robredo encouraged “creative and transformative leadership” — one rooted in emphatic and active participation to create positive change to people who need help the most.
To reinvent leadership in the 21st century, Robredo said there was need to assess the core values to hold on to during the most tumultuous of times.
“Effective leadership is never about one man’s ability to yield power. At its very core, genuine governance is about sharing that power so that others may prosper,” she said.
In 2016, Robredo’s office launched an innovative program called “Angat Buhay,” to attend to the “most urgent of needs of the poor and marginalized in ways that could be sustainable and scalable, rather than cosmetic one-time big-time assistance.”
Due to lack of funds, her office decided to work as a bridge between communities that needed help the most and the partner institutions that were willing to help.
She cited the case of Agutayan, a remote island in Palawan which had no electricity, no potable water and no hospitals. Residents struggled to make both ends meet and harvested seaweeds for a living.
When Metrobank Foundation constructed water pumps, schools and brought hygiene and medicine kits, she said it was like “fiesta” in the island.
When St. Therera’s College Alumnae Association turned over new boats to fishermen, they felt like they won the lotto, as their old boats were destroyed by supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Afterwards, solar panels donated by ASA Philippines and Team Philippines enabled 400 families to “experience the joy of switching on their light bulbs for the first time.”
Andres Soriano Foundation provided water testing and livelihood training so that level 2 water system could be installed while Children’s Hour and Canvass PH donated books and school kits.
“Now more than ever, we need leaders who will lend voice to the weak and powerless, brave, creative leaders who will choose service over popularity: empathy over personal gain, leaders who will abandon their personal agenda and inspire others to follow their footsteps,” Robredo said.
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