Ever since the launch of United Nations’ Sustainable Development in 2015, amplified by Philippines experience on Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, successive trainings were in place for national government agencies, local governments, advocates and yes, young leaders, to equip themselves with preparedness drills. It has even come to the point where recipients of training experience ‘training fatigue’.
This is not true with our Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Alumni, Quin Cruz. He is one of those remarkable young leaders in YSEALI, who has been a product of a number of youth development programs that enriched his skills in promoting his initiative on sustainable cities through Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) preparedness and inclusive mobility. He has been to different corners of the globe to push for his advocacies. Quin became a part of the huge YSEALI network when he became a professional fellow in 2015. If you were at the town hall with former US President Barack Obama in Taylor’s University in 2015, you probably have seen him with a foldable bike.
“Not global, I am localizing”, Quin once said when he was asked why he was not very active with regional engagements anymore. We can find him now as an active public servant in Mangahan and a strong advocate of good governance in Pasig City. He now brings his advocacy to his own barangay, spearheading inclusivity of PWDs and Senior Citizens especially during this time of the pandemic.
In the middle of the pandemic, which also greatly affects his city, Quin thinks that he cannot just wait for things to unfold. He believes that initiatives should respond with heart, science and methodology in place. “For example, food packs distribution kailangan data-driven ang targeting mo kailangan mo ng mga tools like map. Ilan ang population, household per area, per purok, ilan ang pwd, senior, bata atbp’”. (For example, the process of food pack distribution needs to be data-driven when it comes to targeting, hence, it needs the use of tools such as map. The population, household per area, the number of PWD, senior citizens, children, & etc.).
Pasig City has high Facebook citation recently because of initiatives such as Libreng Hatid for patients, PhP 4000.00 financial assistance to pedicab drivers, food assistance to frontliners, among the many that caught our eye in social media. These kinds of innovation are through Empathic Listening to the community. The social issues that need to be filled-in can be easily identified if governance pays close attention to the people.
We are all wondering what could be next after the community quarantine. Quin thinks that this pandemic will make the populace realize the importance of voting. “… kung sino ang iniluklok natin sa bawat posisyon ng gobyerno sila ang nagtatakda at nagplaplano sa mga gawain ng ating bayan kung saan nakasalalay ang ating kinabukasan at buhay” ( … whoever we put into an elected position in the government, they will be in-charge with local governance, which in one way or another our lives are dependent on). The emergency and the approach we do right now will be the proof of concept for initiatives concerning with health, transportation, environment, food security, innovation, governance, policy mechanism, systems etc.