Three young Negrense legislators graduated Wednesday from a modular program on effective, ethical, and empowering leadership in rites held at the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines.
Himamaylan City Councilors Justin Silos Gatuslao, Julie Ann Torrillo-Vasquez, and Emmanuel Castro were among 30 graduates of the School of Leadership and Governance – a program held at the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Kaya Natin! Movement organized the program which was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
The three program modules were held in May, July, and September this year and featured Kaya Natin! champions as lecturers – former local officials who achieved good governance goals during their terms in office and continue to be its advocates.
The graduation ceremony was keynoted by Vice President Leni Robredo who reminded the young legislators of the selflessness of public service. “Tayo’y lilipas lang pero ang City Hall andito yan parati,” she said. “Kaya dapat hindi lang tayo ang mahusay, dapat yang mga kasama natin dito pahusayin natin.”
Chosen to deliver the graduates’ response, Gatuslao noted, “We realize that especially for the young there is always a reluctance to enter politics… But this fellowship has made us realize that one can enter politics with a revolutionary spirit wanting to change the world and not necessarily change for the worse while we’re at it.”
He continued, “It was very important that we had mentors who had considerable, significant, and great success and yet failed to continue on their journeys because of the reality of politics. But the fact that they chose to be our mentors means that they have not yet given up that fight. And we, too, shouldn’t stop fighting for good governance.”/WDJ