“We are defining good governance as one that thrives in Daylight. I believe that the only way forward is for us to uphold transparency over secrecy; accountability over impunity; and citizen participation over collusion.” – From the 2012 Budget Message of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
The Communications Roadshow is a project of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS) and the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). The project’s aims are twofold: to bring the President’s message closer to the people outside Metro Manila and, at the same time, to reach out to citizens eager to engage in conversations that yield results and solutions.
In a series of gatherings, the OPS and PCDSPO personally articulate the President’s vision and inform citizens in the provinces of ongoing nation-building efforts. The roadshows, too, provide a platform for the people to freely voice their concerns, confident as they are that they have the government’s ear and that the government has the drive and the ability to address the issues raised.
We believe that the roadshows are but one manifestation of the Aquino administration’s drive to institutionalize good governance practices that are rooted in transparency and are cognizant of citizen participation.
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As part of its April 2012 installment of the Communications Roadshow project, the OPS-PCDSPO paid a visit to Bacolod City, to meet with various civil society sectors and the local government. On Wednesday morning, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda shared the President’s message of reform, his call to action in the government, and the realization of his covenant with the Filipino people—Daylight—with the People Power Volunteers for Change.
Coleen Ematong, a student journalist currently in her third year of taking Political Science in the University of St. La Salle Bacolod, was part of the audience: “It is nice that we are being assured that the commander-in-chief is doing his best for the country.” She added, “Ngayon ko nga lang po nalaman na meron siyang panata na hanggang anim na taon lang siya sa government. Ibig sabihin, hindi siya nagpe-prepare sa coming elections.”
One topic of discussion during the open forum held after Secretary Lacierda’s talk was the government’s fight against corruption, and the many ways citizens could take part in this systemic reform. Ematong observed, “May nakikita akong change. For example, ‘yung mga officials—hindi lang sa national, kundi maging sa local—conscious sila na baka ‘yung mga kalaban nila, sasabihing corrupt sila. Kasi nga po, guwardiyado ni PNoy. Sa impeachment din,” Ematong added, “kahit pa may mga bumabatikos dito, may nakikita tayo: na ‘yung may kasalanan, talagang nabibigyan ng nararapat na punishment.”
After the visit with the Negrense volunteers, Ematong told the OPS-PCDSPO staff, “If I had been allowed to vote during the 2010 elections, I would have voted for Noynoy. Kasi hindi niya kayang maging corrupt. Sabi nga po ni Secretary Lacierda, they are not after [being corrupt] and that they are doing their best [to eliminate corruption].”
We view the roadshows and the engagement it has encouraged from the citizens as a reaffirmation of the renewed solidarity of the people and its government. Ultimately, these gatherings strengthen a partnership that has long been flourishing under the principles of Daylight—accountability, transparency, and integrity. Indeed, the consistent success of the OPS-PCDSPO roadshows since its launch in 2011 are testament to the trust the Filipino nation has firmly placed in the Aquino administration.