Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo (center), was awarded the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, after her lecture at the Ateneo Professorial Schools in Makati last March 14, 2017. With her in the photo are (from left to right) Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña and Dr. Antonette Palma Angeles, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools.
As chairholder of the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Professorial Chair for Public Service and Governance, Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo delivered a lecture on “Tsinelas Leadership as Vehicle for Empathy and Hope” on March 14, 2017 at the Ateneo Professional Schools Auditorium in Makati City.
“Has democracy failed the world’s poor?” This was the question Robredo posed to her audience, which was mostly composed of students, faculty, and members of civil society groups. She cited how poverty remains a big challenge despite the steady growth of the Philippine economy in recent years.
The Vice President noted that she believes in continuing “the unfinished task of democracy —that of deepening the empowerment of every human being.” She noted that this is where tsinelas leadership, a term coined in reference to her late husband Jesse’s brand of leadership, comes in.
“For Jesse, it was critical that power was shared back with the people,” Robredo said. She added that the tsinelas “was a powerful symbol of his desire to keep everything simple and to serve as close to the ground as possible.”
She highlighted the current efforts of her office to apply the same principles to their Angat Buhay anti-poverty program. Linking development organizations and the business sector to 50 of the poorest towns in the country, Robredo said that they involve the people in developing sustainable projects for their communities.
“As a result, they feel empowered, and they own their projects. They are no longer mere beneficiaries, but now become partners and stakeholders. The success rate is higher when the people themselves are involved,” she observed.
Robredo noted that “tsinelas leadership is truly the vehicle for empathy and the hope that we so desperately need today.” She added, “Given time, it can heal our nation from frustration—because it gives people their voice and brings government close to the people.”
A joint undertaking between Metrobank Foundation and Ateneo de Manila University, the professorial chair seeks to give due recognition to public servants who are exemplary models of leadership and professionalism. It aims to strengthen the pillars of our government by furthering research and educating the citizenry on public-interest issues.
Since its establishment in 2000, the title has been awarded to advocates of good governance including Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, and former Social Work and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman.
Tags: 2017 News