Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 2022 Galing Pook Awards “Padayon para sa Ligtas, Matalino, at Matatag na Pamayanan”

Event 2022 Galing Pook Awards
Location Ceremonial Hall in Malacañan Palace

Thank you, DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos; the… [Oh, please, please.] [laughter]

Our — I was going to say saling-pusa because… The Senate President and I were in a meeting completely unrelated to this. And I said, “No, you’ll want to see this because this is the Galing Pook Awards. We’ll see some new ideas coming out from the LGUs.” So I asked him to join us. So here he is our Senate President Migz Zubiri. [applause]

Presidential Management Staff Secretary Maria Zenaida Angping — many of the congressmen’s former colleague; Galing Pook Foundation Chairperson Mel Sarmiento; the Galing Pook Awards recipients for 2022; all our fellow workers in government; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; our partners, especially in the private sector without whom all of these projects which began in the ‘90s would not have progressed all of this time with the attendant advantages that you have given in terms of sharing best practices to all our local governments, so thank you for that; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

Malugod na pagbati sa inyong lahat dito sa Palasyo ng Malakanyang.

It is my pleasure to welcome you here at the home of the Filipino people, especially local governments here that we recognized in this year’s Galing Pook Awards. 

First of all, I congratulate the awardees for they have formulated and implemented programs that provide innovative solutions to the common problems of our society. 

And that is particularly important in this day and age. As you may know, I just came back from the summit of ASEAN and the summit — the Leaders’ Meeting for APEC. And siyempre wala na kaming ibang napag-usapan kung hindi ang ekonomiya, sa defense and security dito sa Asia-Pacific, at kung papaano ang gagawin para maging mas masigla ang ating mga ekonomiya. 

At lahat ay sinasabi ay kailangan natin magsimula ng panibago. This new society… The new economy that we are facing is going to be very different from what we are used to.

And a great part of it, a great part of our success will be to innovate. Kaya’t itong nangyayari sa Galing Pook Awards ngayon talaga ay importanteng-importante dahil hindi na talaga pupuwede ang business as usual.

Kailangan nag-iisip lagi tayo, ano ba ‘yung puwede pang pagandahin? Ano pa ‘yung hindi natin ginagawa na baka subukan natin baka gumanda, baka maganda ang resulta? 

This is a kind of thing that we are going to need because we are reinventing the global economy again. And it will reinvent itself, we have to reinvent ourselves to be able to adjust to all of that. And that’s when innovation comes in. And that’s where cooperation also becomes very important.

And in this case the Galing Pook serves that purpose specifically in that you share your best experiences, you share your ideas, and — in local setting. Usually madali i-translate, madaling dalhin, ilipat. Kung mayroon nagawa sa isang bayan, madaling ilipat sa kabilang bayan dahil it’s already been — it was invented in a local setting, which is easily replicated in other places.

So your pursuit of good governance in your communities is truly commendable and is necessary. 

Therefore, I encourage you to continue your programs and advocacies so that you may inspire your fellow LGUs to also introduce innovative practices geared towards improving the lives of your constituents.  

With these noble endeavors, you are definitely creating positive changes in the country. 

I commend the Galing Pook Foundation for promoting excellence and innovations in local governance by recognizing and incentivizing our

top-performing LGUs. 

And this is again a centerpiece of our economic plan — is these kinds of partnerships between the private sector and the public sector. In this day and age again, not one area can do it, not one country can do it, not one government can do it.

We need everybody’s help and we must recognize that the private sector has a great deal to contribute. And the private sector has been willing to contribute. It is up to us to go into partnership with them to the advantage of our own communities.

The recognition that you give to cities and municipalities inspires them to accelerate their drive towards improvement and it encourages LGUs to adopt practices that make us paragons of excellence in public service. 

It is necessary for us to underscore the importance of strengthening partnerships between the government and private organizations, such as the Galing Pook Foundation, especially as we bring about meaningful progress in the country. 

Through your collaboration with socio-civic groups and various sectors, you are able to better implement social programs. This, in turn, makes our fellow Filipinos feel our work in shaping their lives and in improving their conditions. 

I hope the Galing Pook Foundation will continue developing the knowledge of local chief executives and facilitating the exchange of best practices that foster development in our localities, such as your Adaptive and Innovative Leadership Program. 

As your President, I am deeply encouraged by the effective leadership we now see shining brightly amongst our LGUs. 

We do not mean to cast aspersions on national government officials. [laughter] But I have always said, some of the best talent in government that I have seen is in the local — is in the local level. [applause]

In the years of the pandemic, everyone benefited from your active response and prompt delivery of services. 

Perfect example, during the pandemic, the LGUs put in a sterling performance to bring the… First of all, to take care of our people noong wala pa tayong bakuna. And then when we had the vaccines, to roll them out properly para maiabot, to categorize who are the high risk na unahin ‘yung matatanda, with comorbidities, et cetera, et cetera, down the line.

LGUs did that. The national government essentially just provided the vaccines. And it was national government… National government nagpatakbo, pinaabot ‘yung tinatawag na last mile, kayo ang nagpaabot hanggang sa last mile.

So that’s another best practice that we can point to, that the LGUs really did a sterling job and saved many, many lives.

Without you, we would not have known the real situation and the needs of those at the grassroots level. 

So, I thank you for letting our people know that they are in safe hands, even if the health crisis and other succeeding challenges gave us enough reason to fear. 

It is my hope that we will continue to give our best in our present journey into the new normal. 

As we move forward, let this occasion remind us that it is the track record that speaks for performance. It also reflects why our constituents continue to choose you as their leaders. 

May you, therefore, remain consistent and persevering in your endeavors so that you may reach even greater heights. 

Be assured that this Administration will support our LGUs, as your role in the government is significant to our nation-building initiatives. 

Lastly, let your constant pursuit of inclusive and sustainable and participative governance inspire our people to also cooperate with our unification efforts and make them know that we will serve them regardless of any color.

Together, let us build a country where efficient, competent, and effective leadership is the hallmark of Philippine governance. 

With the Galing Pook and our LGUs there leading the way, I am certain we will not only achieve this goal, but we will rise from the rubbles of challenges of recent years [and] emerge stronger, wiser, and more successful as a Filipino nation. 

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Mabuhay po kayong lahat at magandang hapon po. [applause]

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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)