From the national level to the local, good leadership is essential. Much has been said about President Aquino’s leadership, but little has been said about the leadership on the ground.

The Koalisyon ng Mamamayan Para sa Reporma (KOMPRe) has sought to aid the growth of that group through leadership training. The event, entitled Basic Leadership Training for Rural Development, was held in Valencia City, Bukidnon, on August 13.

Secretary of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas attended the program and discussed the importance of a continuation of projects that have been put in place. These programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and Bottom-up Budgeting (BuB), Roxas said, ultimately aid regular citizens in raising their standard of living, and make them the center of development.

“Ang pinaglalaban natin sa Daang Matuwid ay ang pagkakataon na mamuhay na hawak natin ang ating kapalaran. ‘Yan ang dahilan kung bakit yung mga programa na ipinaglalaban natin,” Roxas said.

“Ang pamahalaan na naandyan—binubuo ninyo, nagmumula sa inyo, at dapat para sa inyo. Wala nang interes na pinagsisislbihan kundi ang interes ng bawat isa sa inyo,” he added.

Roxas believes that empowerment is very personal to a citizen.

“Simple lang ang pangarap. Na mamuhay nang may dignidad. Mamuhay na may kauswagan, kaginhawaan, mamuhay ng may bukas na puno ng pagkakataon,” Roxas said.

“Pero ang lumang sistema, binebenta natin ang dangal natin. Binebenta natin yung pagkatao natin. Binebenta sa mga makapangyarihan,” he added.

Roxas also explained the merits of the BUB program. “Hindi naman pwede na manatiling masagana ‘yung nasa taas kung mahirap ‘yung nasa baba, hindi ba? Kayo ang nagpapasiya kung saan gagastusin ito.”

He noted how programs like BUB, along with the 4Ps, are hallmarks of Daang Matuwid, and under the good leadership of President Aquino, programs like these have flourished and aided millions of Filipinos.

“Hindi tinatanong kung mula taga-saan sila. Kinukuha ang listahan ng pinakamahihirap na nangangailangan ng tulong, at iyon ang tinutulungan,” Roxas said.

“Ang pinaglalaban po natin ay ang magandang bukas ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.