by Harvey S. Keh
Published at the Manila Bulletin, August 25, 2012
I met Secretary Jesse Robredo in 2001 at an event organized by
Synergeia Foundation, one of the country’s more effective institutions
in improving our public education system.
Since then, Sec. Robredo has become one of the people I have
looked up to for advice. His effective brand of leadership has been a
constant source of inspiration for me.
As such, I wanted to share the things that I have learned through the years that I worked with him:
I learned that there are still people like him who remain ethical
despite being in government service. Many people dissuaded me from
entering government service, telling me that no one survives the
current system of pervasive graft and corruption. Sec. Robredo showed
that one need not compromise his or her values and principles to be able
to govern and deliver basic services to the people in an effective
When I asked him what was his secret for being steadfast in his values, he told me that his faith in God and his family are his main foundations, and this is the second lesson that I learned from him.
In a society where we hear of politicians having several wives
and families, we have someone like Sec. Robredo who had put premium on
his being a loyal husband and a loving father who devoted time to his
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