Monthly Archives: February 2020

Graffiti Art at Wynwood Walls

As Henry Matisse puts it – “creativity takes courage”. Only visionary leaders can see the direct correlation between art and economic development. Art has a powerful way of bringing community together by allowing open spaces to become spawning grounds for creativity and productivity.

I will not forget what I saw in Miami in November of 2015 – how a cluster of long abandoned buildings shaped the culture of a community and transformed it into a thriving arts district. This article, How the Wynwood Walls Have Shaped Miami’s Art Scene, describes how real-estate developer and arts patron Tony Goldman first started acquiring New York real estate in SoHo in 1968, graffiti was something that property owners wanted to remove from a building—not add to it. However, the developer’s thoughts on street art changed in 1984 when he acquired a property at Bowery and Houston, where then-rising star Keith Haring had famously painted a massive mural two years earlier. Rather than tear it down, he left it up for a few years, and restored it to its former glory in 2008 with dealer and street art fan Jeffrey Deitch, which would set the precedent for Goldman’s next big transformation: Miami’s Wynwood Walls.

My visit to Wynwood Walls was part of the Global Women’s Forum dubbed as Making Strides: Advancing Women’s Leadership organized by Eisenhower Fellowships with other organizations on November 17 to 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida. On the last day, there were several exposure trips arranged for the delegates and I chose Art, Economic Development & the Wynwood Walls with Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO Goldman Properties and Jane Golden, Executive Director, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program (EF, USA).

For over forty years, Goldman Properties has been recognizing the value in depressed, undervalued urban areas, reconstructing and transforming declining historic districts into popular, thriving global destinations. The company has been recognized as the driving force behind the transformations of the Upper West Side, the Wall Street Financial District and Soho in New York City, Center City in Philadelphia, South Beach in Miami, and most recently the transformation of the warehouse/arts district in Miami’s Wynwood.

Goldman Properties’ portfolio of assets has received worldwide press and been the recipient of multiple awards including, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Awards, Developer of the Year from American Institute of Architects, the Louise DuPont Crown in Shield Award, the highest honor awarded from the National Trust for historic preservation, Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s  Lifetime Achievement award and most recently being named as a finalist for ULI’s Global Excellence Awards for Wynwood Walls.

Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO Goldman Properties shares about Wynwood Walls

Here are some of the breathtaking artworks I was able to capture with my lenses.

There were also shops, food areas, and interactive museums.

Wynwood Walls Food Area

The gardens were also filled with paintings.

The whole neighborhood are lined with street arts and building owners decorated their walls with art, making the whole community an art gallery.

With Diane Shoemaker, Alumni Network Officer of Eisenhower Fellowships

Urban communities today suffer from vandalism that destroy properties and create disorder. I look forward to seeing cities investing in art that will not only bring about more jobs and opportunities for locals but also highlight their creativity and artistry.

Making Strides: A Global Gathering of Women Leaders

I had the wonderful opportunity as an Eisenhower Fellow to be invited in 2015 in a conference that gathered inspiring women leaders from around the globe. I was among the speakers at Making Strides: Global Networks Forum on Women’s Leadership held in Miami, Florida USA on November 17 to 19, 2015.

In her letter, Diane Shoemaker, Senior Director for Global Fellows Network of Eisenhower Fellowships wrote “we believe your knowledge, leadership and example would greatly inspire the participants of this forum who will descend on Miami from around the world.”

At the welcome reception in Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami on November 17, 2015 as Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012

During three-day conference, I had the privilege to listen to distinguished women such as Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women and UN Under Secretary-General, Governor Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey, Donna Shalala, President of the Clinton Foundation and Isela Costantini, President and CEO of GM Argentina.

Phumzile Mlambo Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women and UN Under Secretary-General
Governor Christie Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey

The welcome reception was held at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Vizcaya is the former villa and estate of businessman James Deering, of the Deering McCormick-International Harvester fortune, on Biscayne Bay in the present day Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The early 20th century Vizcaya estate includes extensive Italian Renaissance gardens; native woodland landscape; and a historic village outbuildings compound. The landscape and architecture were influenced by Veneto and Tuscan Italian Renaissance models and designed in the Mediterranean Revival architecture style, with Baroque elements.

This was a historic first gathering of women leaders from the Global Leadership Consortium, a group that included at least 150 alumni from the prestigious Eisenhower, Ashoka, Kellogg, Harvard Loeb and German Marshall Memorial fellowship programs, along with other prominent women in leadership positions worldwide.

With Diane Shoemaker and Mayor Daisy Sayangda, 2015 EF Fellow from the Philippines
With Hamdan Majeed, my fellow 2012 EF Fellow from Malaysia

The Miami forum capped the Eisenhower Fellowships’ Women’s Leadership Program that fall, which brought together 25 ascendant mid-career women leaders from around the world to the United States for seven-week individualized fellowships.

My talk was set on November 18 in a  session on “Human Trafficking: Domestic Violence Prevention and Judicial Policies”.  I shared our advocacies my advocacies as founder of the Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocates Society (ATLAS) and as partner of Visayan Forum Foundation.

Our panel was on Human Trafficking and Restorative Justice Practices and Designs and I was joined by Deanna Van Buren  (Loeb Fellow), Founder, FOURM design studio and Marta Pascual (EF Argentina ’88), Social Policies Coordinator, City of Buenos Aires, Judicial Branch.

Marta is a lawyer and Master Degree in Public Law from the Universidad de Palermo. She is a Juvenile Criminal Judge at Lomas de Zamora, Argentina. She is a full-time professor for Minority and Family Law at Universidad  Nacional de Lomas de Zamora.

Deanna Van Buren is an architect and global thought leader researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, a radical transformation of justice architecture. She sits on the national board of Architects, Designers, and Planning for Social Responsibility and is the founding partner of FOURM design studio, a firm creating spaces for peacemaking and restorative justice.

With my fellow speakers Deanna Van Buren and Marta Pascual

Session Time: November 18 from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m

Location:14th floor of the EPIC Hotel 

Presenters: Deanna van Buren, Jocelle Batapa Sigue, Marta Pascual

In this session, a global panel of thought leaders in justice will present innovations in cross discipline and cross sector approaches towards addressing crime from the development of spaces for peacemaking to the inclusion of communities as part of the solution to transforming how we address crime. Case studies and projects will include work underway in setting up restorative justice system to address juvenile crime in Argentina, development of the first center for restorative justice/restorative economics in Oakland California and examples of how community stakeholders are contributing to the prevention of human trafficking in the Philippines.

Before and following the presentations design tools and restorative dialogue will be used to  explore how restorative justice can support the healing and transformation of perpetrators and victims of violence as opposed to our traditional justice system and what is the role of government and community partnerships in developing alternative approaches to addressing crime.

At the forum, I was able to meet many women leaders and engaged in peer mentoring and advanced leadership development dialogues and workshops. The forum provided a unique opportunity for me and for all the participants to share leadership strategies and innovations across their networks, disciplines and borders to solve the numerous, complex issues women face globally.

The forum deeply enriched my journey and perspectives as a woman leader.  It further opened my eyes to the many challenges the world faces through the eyes of women and how women leaders in various fields can make a difference.

With Vania Masías, Director, Angeles D1 (Ashoka Fellow) and performers of the Angeles D1 Youth Leadership Development Through Dance

Corruption and Automation: An Anti-Thesis

Featured on January 29 and February 5, 2020 at Sunstar Bacolod

Serious efforts to curb graft and corruption by reducing red tape in every city and municipality are being undertaken by the Anti-Red tape Authority (ARTA) created under the Republic Act No. 11032. These efforts, however, will come to naught without an equally serious commitment on the part of citizens to understand and ensure that the new law is complied with by their city or municipality. Corrupt officials are usually averse to automation. Apathy or tolerance on the part of citizens make them privy to the corruption. Local business chambers which do not demand the compliance of their respective local government units to the law lose their moral ascendancy to even claim that they are working for a progressive local economy

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) aggressively undertakes a nation-wide campaign to promote the law anchored on its main benefit – faster and easier application for government-issues permits, licenses and certificates. Customers, clients or citizens are encouraged to provide feedback for service improvement should they be not satisfied with the service provided.

This article will discuss the salient features of RA 11032, a new law which promotes ease of doing business and efficient government service and amends Republic Act No. 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. The so-called ease of doing business (EODB) law, it mandates the streamlining and improving the current systems and procedure of government services and aims to reduce processing time, cut bureaucratic red tape and eliminate corrupt practices.

The law applies to all government offices and agencies including local Government units (LGUs), government-owned and controlled corporations and other government instrumentalities, whether located in the Philippines or abroad that provide services covering business and non-business related transactions.

The main requirement of the law is for government entities to craft and disseminate a Citizen’s Charter that will design specific rules and will make the source office liable responsible and liable for non-compliance. It is therefore imperative especially for LGUs to create or revised their Citizen’s Charters by December last year based on the deadline set by RA 11032.

Government transactions must adopt “zero contact” policy and must have corresponding maximum period for processing of permits, licenses and certificates. Except during the preliminary assessment, no government office or employee shall have any contact, in any manner, unless strictly necessary with any requesting party concerning an application or request.

To effectively assist the citizens, clients and customers, the government entities in its Citizens Charter, administrative policies and local legislations, must set up the most current and updated service standards in the form of information billboards that detail comprehensive form checklist of requirements for each type of application or request, procedure to obtain a particular service, persons responsible for each step, maximum time to conclude the process, document/s to be presented by the applicant or requesting party, amount of fees and procedure for filing complaints.

The head of the office or agency shall be primarily responsible for the implementation of this Act and shall be held accountable to the public in rendering fast, efficient, convenient, and reliable service.

For all lawful and official transactions with government, every customer or client must ensure that government agencies accept applications, requests, and documents, perform preliminary assessment, assign a unique identification number to an application request and issue an acknowledgement receipt. The acknowledgement receipt shall contain seal of agency, name of the responsible officer or employee, unit and designation, and the date and time of receipt

Under RA 11032 and which should be defined in the local government unit’s citizen’s charter, the maximum prescribe time for simple transaction is 3 working days. For complex transactions, the maximum period is 7 working days and highly technical transaction, 20 working days. The period may be extended only once for the same number of days. For transactions which requires Sanggunian approval, the maximum is 45 working days. The period can be extended for another 20 working days.

The maximum numbers of signatories in any document shall be limited to a maximum of 3 signatures. No application shall be returned to the applicant or requesting party without appropriate action. Any denial of application or request for access to government service shall be fully explained.

When applicable, the government office can develop electronic versions of licenses, clearances, permits, certifications, or authorizations with the same level of authority as that of the signed hard copy, which may be printed by the applicants or requesting parties in the convenience of their offices.

If a government office or agency fails to approve or disapprove an original application or request for within the prescribed processing time, said application or request shall be deemed approved for as long as all required documents have been submitted and all required fees and charges have been paid. If a government office or agency fails to act on an application or request for renewal within the prescribed processing time, said license clearance, permit, certification or authorization shall automatically be extended.

The law mandates the reengineering of systems and procedures starting with by undertaking cost compliance analysis, time and motion studies, and evaluation and improvement of transaction systems and procedures. All government offices must also undergo regulatory impact assessment of proposed regulations to establish if the proposed regulation does not add undue regulatory burden and cost to agencies and applicants or requesting parties; and initiate review of existing policies and operations and commence with the reengineering of systems and procedures.

All LGUs are required to streamline procedures for the issuance of local business licenses, clearances, permits, certifications or authorizations through the use of unified business application form, establishment of business one stop shop (BOSS). Cities and municipalities are mandated to automate their business permitting and licensing system or set up an e-BOSS within by 2021 or within 3 years from the passage of the law.

Barangay clearances and permits related to doing business shall be applied, issued, and collected at the city or municipality or co-located within the LGUs. The city or municipal business process and licensing office shall not require the same documents already provided by an applicant or requesting party to the local government. Business permits shall be valid for a period of 1 year. The city or municipality may have the option to renew business permits within the first month of the year or on the anniversary date of the issuance of the business permit.

Under RA 11032 and which should be defined in the local government unit’s citizen’s charter, the maximum prescribe time for simple transaction is 3 working days. For complex transactions, the maximum period is 7 working days and highly technical transaction, 20 working days. The period may be extended only once for the same number of days. For transactions which requires Sanggunian approval, the maximum is 45 working days. The period can be extended for another 20 working days.

The mandated maximum deadline for issuance of Fire safety Evaluation Clearance (FSEC) and for Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC) is 7 working days,          while for a Certificate of Fire Incident (CFI), 20 working days and may be extended once. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) must also be co-located at the BOSS of the city or municipality, where said office shall enter into agreement and develop an online or electronic mechanism for such applications. The BFP shall not sell, offer or recommend specific brands of fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment to any applicant or requesting party or business entity, otherwise the guilty officer will be liable by imprisonment of one to six (6) years and a penalty of not less than five hundred thousand pesos to two million pesos.

Punishable acts under RA 11032 include acceptance of application or request with complete requirements being submitted by an applicant or requesting party without due cause; imposition of additional requirements other than those listed in the Citizen’s Charter; and imposition of additional costs not reflected in the Citizen’s Charter. The law also penalizes the failure to give the applicant or requesting party a written notice on the disapproval of an application or request; failure to render government services within the prescribed processing time on any application or request without due cause; failure to attend applicants or requesting parties who are within premises of the office or agency concerned prior to the end of official working hours and during lunch break; failure or refusal to issue official receipt; and fixing and/or collusion with fixers in consideration or economic and/or other gain or advantage.

Penalties and liabilities range from 6 months without pay as administrative liability for first offence and disqualification from the public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits for second offense, including imprisonment of one to six (6) years and a penalty of not less than five hundred thousand pesos to two million pesos. Criminal Liability shall also be incurred through the commission of bribery, extortion, or when the violation was done deliberately and maliciously to solicit favor in cash or in kind.

We deserve the kind of government we have, says a wide adage. Hence, a citizenry that allows corruption to thrive deserves the poor service and substandard programs it receives from its government. That’s why need to strive to become good citizens even as we dream of a good government.