"Pick the INsane," says Gov Marcos for creative leadership


Mar. 13, 2017 ...

Governor Imee R. Marcos shared at the Asia CEO Forum last March 8 that her desire for creative leadership in Ilocos Norte demanded that she "pick the INsane" as her partners in developing the province.

This was among seven principles or rules of governance that she had learned over more than six years.

"An axiom in the creative industries is that the craziest, often the most obnoxious, is the most talented," she said to the audience, made up mostly of potential investors, chief executive officers and owners of major companies across Southeast Asia.

Possessing a background in the arts and media productions, Governor Marcos applied this axiom to her governance, hence she began to pick "the troublesome and intransigent, those in the periphery, liminal and marginalized, and oft-discussed outliers."

In Ilocos Norte, this was largely the notion towards the youth sector: "angry young people, depressed, hypercritical," according to the governor.

"They were the first who dared to ask: why must we migrate to live?"

For decades, Ilocos Norte had been far too reliant on dollar remittances coming from parents and loved ones who had gone to work abroad in search of greener pastures. While this significantly reduced poverty, it led to a shortage of new investment, local entrepreneurship, and rural development.

Governor Marcos then launched the "2020 vision" of the province, now asking, "What is the future we want?" To get a better idea of this, she then organized youth groups, starting with the Sirib Express flagship program for the youth which later evolved into what is now known as the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO).

"Today, Ilocano millennials have a loud voice in the Capitol," she boasted, "They have transformed the great painter Juan Luna into an irreverent hashtag, 'Johnny Moon,'" referring to the creative media workshop that spanned the early years of her governorship and uplifted the community of artists and creatives in the province.

Aside from the "angry" youth sector, Governor Marcos pointed out the marginalized and far-flung communities, mentioning the "Capitol Express" program which brings the provincial government's services closer to the people.

"For the last four years, I have been holding office in weekly town markets, bringing assessors and civil registrars to reissue titles and birth certificates, doctors with medicines and a dental bus, agricultural engineers for on-site soil analyses," she shared.

By listening to sectors like the youth, who had in previous years been taken for granted in local governance, and targeting development in rural barangays and marginalized sectors like senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and women, Governor Marcos has been urging the province towards transformational growth.