Friday, December 19, 2008

Frontline Leadership

Frontline Leadership: Stories of 5 Local Chief Executives

By the Ateneo School of Government and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Quezon City: ASoG and KAS, 2007. Php 250. ISBN 978-971-92495-2-8

Government is best seen and experienced at the local level. Local government is the front line in the battle to serve the people. Before citizens give their assessment of the national leadership, they first look at how each local chief executive performs and delivers the goods to their constituents.

“Frontline Leadership” features the stories and best practices of local leaders in the real-time management of the local government. Written by several authors, the local executives were presented with their achievements, idiosyncrasies, mistakes, and difficulties to serve the common good. The book painted realistic pictures of Naga City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, San Fernando City Mayor Mary Jane C. Ortega, Bulacan Governor Josie M. de la Cruz, Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers, and an anonymous lady governor in the Visayas.

Ateneo School of Government associate dean and the book’s project director Dr. Dennis T. Gonzalez states in the book’s Afterword, “Our country needs more members of the political and economic elite who will exercise ethical and effective leadership, even at the expense of their family interests, to enable the many families mired in poverty to lift themselves, to equalize opportunity to political and economic advancement, and to strengthen democratic institutions and the political party system.”

Current and future local chief executives can learn much from the hands-on experiences of these leaders. The examples of these fellow Filipinos show that hope for a better Philippines is alive. We should all work hand in hand and pray for more leaders like them in the frontlines of service.

Frontline Leadership is available at both the Rockwell and Loyola Heights offices of the Ateneo School of Government. For inquiries please call 899-7691 loc. 2401/2 or 426-5998, 426-6001 local 4643.

(First published in BOOKWATCH, January - March 2008.)

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