|Aquino's anti-corruption slogan wins Asian award|
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III was given the PublicAffairsAsia’s Gold Standard Award for Political Communications in recognition of his administration’s communications platform in promoting transparency and accountability in government.
Since coming to office in July, 2010, Aquino has consistently pounded his key message—“Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap” (“If there is no corruption, there will be no poverty”)—into the public consciousness. His goal is to make significant progress in alleviating poverty and reducing corruption.
Transparency is essential in the current milieu of mass access to information. Aquino recognizes and has capitalized on this. His communications team updated the government’s presence in the Internet through a series of new media projects—spearheaded by the Official Gazette website (www.gov.ph): envisioned to be a marriage of archive and repository of up-to-date source information on the president and his government.
Aquino’s government launched the Public-Private Partnership Center as a cornerstone of its economic policy and to communicate the country’s thrust to provide a hub for viable international investment.
According to Aquino’s official spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, the administration’s message is received well, as reflected by his consistently high approval ratings. Last September, survey groups have found that Aquino enjoys the highest approval scores of all Philippine presidents in recent history, even higher than his revered mother, the late President Corazon C. Aquino.
Lacierda said the message has resonated abroad as well. “[The award] signifies that members of the international community recognize the change that is alight within the country.”
Aquino won over Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor and first Prime Minister of Singapore; Ambika Soni, India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting; British Prime Minister David Cameron; ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan; and Indonesian Politician Anas Urbaningrum. Last year’s recipient was Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, due to his exemplary work in addressing corruption in Indonesia through his Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
The nomination for President Aquino was developed by EON, the Philippines’ pioneering stakeholder relations firm. “We nominated President Aquino because we believed that he is the person to drive lasting change within the political landscape of the Philippines. It’s a great thrill to see that our efforts have translated in a concrete result not just for the President, but also for the country,” shares Junie del Mundo, CEO of EON. Del Mundo was part of the international panel of judges, and joined the awarding ceremony on January 20 in Hong Kong.
The Gold Standard Awards is the flagship project of PublicAffairsAsia, the network for senior government relations, public affairs and corporate communications professionals operating across the Asia Pacific region. It offers news, features, analysis and intelligence on practice and policy through PublicAffairsAsia magazine, online channels, intelligence and high-level events, roundtables and conferences.
PublicAffairsAsia executive director, Craig Hoy shares: “These awards celebrate the achievements of corporations, governments and NGOs and identify those professionals, consultancies and governmental figures who are driving this important process of engagement and partnership in Asia Pacific.”