Continuing the legacy of effective leadership and good governance: Jesse Robredo Institute for Leadership and Good Governance celebrates its first year

Exactly a year ago, the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation launched the Jesse Robredo Institute for Leadership and Good Governance (JRILGG) in time for the 8th death anniversary of the late DILG Secretary and former Naga City Mayor.

The JRILGG serves as an e-learning platform for government, non-government, and community leaders to strengthen leadership and governance skills guided by the pillars of Sec. Jesse Robredo’s Tsinelas Leadership. Throughout its first year of operations, the Institute has conducted over six specialized courses covering various topics on effective leadership, good governance, and public policy tailored-fit for its participants.

Launched at the time of the COVID-19 crisis where the need for good governance is emphasized, the programs seek:

  1. To pass on the important leadership principles and good governance practices exemplified by the late Sec. Jesse M. Robredo to aspiring leaders and practitioners from different fields;
  2. To build a pool of experts, practitioners, and consultants advocating for good governance, effective leadership, and inclusive policy-making who will mentor leaders and stakeholders from different sectors;
  3. To introduce learners to key concepts and practices and develop lasting networks for exchange and knowledge transfer.

A year of inspiring and shaping leaders

In its launching event on August 18, 2020, the Institute initially pioneered four courses facilitated by good governance champions and industry leaders. These courses were centered towards adapting to the current needs of the pandemic to enhance their capacities in public service through the facilitators and their fellow cohorts.

The “Adaptive Leadership in Times of COVID-19 Crisis” course, conducted by Mr. Jess Lorenzo, the Executive Director of SeaOil Foundation, utilized Ronald Heifetz’s framework of Adaptive Leadership in navigating community behavior and engagements in times of crisis, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. The course culminated on October 1, 2020, with fifteen graduates.   

Another course initially offered was “Building Smart and Green Cities and Towns in a Post-Pandemic World”, facilitated by Atty. Arnel Casanova of AECOM Philippines, is designed for the formulation of sustainable and livable communities in preparation after the pandemic. The program capped off its activities on December 2, 2020, with Mr. Wilfredo Prilles Jr. and Vice President Leni Robredo urging the graduates on the importance of careful planning, good governance, and people’s participation in implementing their long-term goals for their localities.

The third pioneer course, “Building Pandemic-Resilient Communities through Public Health Governance”, was led by Mr. Bong Villamor of the National Resilience Council. The course is designed to equip local chief executives and local health leaders with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) in establishing resilient local health systems. The pioneer batch of this course concluded on December 5, 2020, with cohort’s sharing their best practices and strategies on public health governance and building resilient pandemic response in the plenary session.

Another course introduced was “From Purpose to Impact: Reflections and Conversations about Public Service and Leadership” which sought to provide space and time for young public leaders to look back at their leadership journey. In its first run, twenty-six public sector leaders graduated last December 21, 2020 through the guidance of its course facilitator, Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, Director of Fellowship and Leadership Development Programs at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Center for Public Leadership.

Moving forward

To date, the e-learning platform has expanded with three additional courses catering to more sectors from different backgrounds and a new batch of one of the pioneer courses. 

This year, JRILGG began with a workshop entitled  “Creative For Life” by artist and composer Mr. Jim Paredes. The workshop aimed to uncover, identify, and set aside the blocks that stand in the way of creativity in everyday life. The course is part of the special workshop of JRILGG and was completed on March 26, 2021. 

After its first run, a second batch of Public Service and Leadership course was opened and participated by another eleven leaders which culminated on June 26, 2021. It served as an avenue for the leaders to reflect on their leadership journey. It was also facilitated by Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio.

At present, two courses are ongoing including “Leadership and Management for Non-Profit Professionals”, which is a one-year online fellowship program designed to prepare nonprofit professionals in taking on leadership roles that will enable them to effectively forward their organizations’ causes. The courses are facilitated by Mr. Bong Villamor; Ms. Debbie Esquivias, Finance and Investment Specialist at Esquivias, Lim & Co., CPAs; Mr. Luis Esquivias, the founder & CEO of; Ms. Aika Robredo, Executive Director of Restart Micro-Enterprise (RestarME), Inc., and the Chairman of JMRF. 

The “Leadership and Strategy in Organizations”, on the other hand is facilitated by the Program Manager of JMRF, Mr. Harvey Keh. The course is designed to engage leaders with drive and passion for acquiring and developing relevant and innovative leadership and management skills for effective leading and engagement within organizations. 

On continuing Sec. Robredo’s legacy

Vice President Leni Robredo highlighted the platform as an opportunity to build on what her husband has started in the field of politics and governance. The Vice President considers this as a platform for community leaders to join together in deepening their shared advocacies of people empowerment, civic participation, and good public service. She reiterated that Sec. Jesse always used data and information alongside his steadfast principles in making decisions for Naga City, a trait that is considered vital especially in today’s situation.

These are the things that he stood for, and we see this in the courses that JRILGG will offer. Confident din ako na dahil bitbit ng JRILGG ang pangalan ni Jesse, magiging vehicle din ito para ipagpatuloy ang leadership style niya.

Vice President Leni Robredo

She hoped that through the courses offered by JRILGG, Sec. Jesse’s brand of leadership will serve as a model for many leaders across different communities in promoting values of matino and mahusay.

The Institute is looking forward to witnessing our cohorts and graduates in emulating Sec. Jesse’s principles across different generations and communities. The Jesse Robredo Institute for Leadership and Good Governance will remain committed and steadfast to providing learning opportunities and a platform for more leaders in advocating for effective leadership and good governance for the betterment of our country.

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