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EDITORIAL. Full-Disclosure Governance

Gaining full support and cooperation of the governed is a task that governments especially in highly feudal and leader-dependent cultures find difficult.

This seems to be the situation in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and even in some provinces in other regions of the country. Voters, often bought during elections, do not care what happens in government afterward. In the process they end up the losers due to underdevelopment and lack of employment and livelihood opportunities.

Often government funds are siphoned to the pockets of those in government. Poverty is prevalent in the countryside.
According to data from the National Economic Development (NEDA) some years ago, the people of ARMM are the poorest in the country. Yet in this region one can find politicians with big mansions in and out of the province who travel in family-owned luxury vehicles that are of the latest make and models. The situation reveals an apparent culture of graft and corruption.

The present ARMM leader appears to be keen on changing people’s paradigms in the region. He moves around wearing a T-Shirt and is never seen with ostentatious display of luxuries. He does not travel in luxurious vehicles.

And apparently, he is developing a culture of full disclosure of government transactions. He allows coverage of Media on planning meetings and performance reviews. Thus, it goes without saying that policy decisions and actions from above are easily disseminated from the highest echelons to the ordinary citizen.

This kind of governance makes it easy for public information to flow through the communication cycle. Feedback from the ordinary citizens would also flow easily through the communication channels to the top of government.

Performance of people in government could also be measured by the citizenry. And finally, with state-of-the art communication technology, reports can be substantiated by real time satellite photographs of infrastructure projects, the most common source of ill-gotten wealth of some unscrupulous government officials and politicians.

The citizenry ought to applaud this first of its kind transparency of governance in the region.
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