□ A Seoul Metropolitan Government delegation headed by Mayor Park Won Soon visited Metro Manila in the Philippines from August 11 to 14 (4 days).
□ In his third official visit to a foreign country this year, Mr. Park Won Soon shared cases of exemplary administrative affairs with the central government of the Philippines and local governments in Metro Manila. He also discussed with local influential people ways of encouraging the people to take part in municipal affairs as well as how to develop Asia.
□ Mr. Park Won Soon received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in the Public Service Sector in 2006 for having established the Beautiful Foundation. This time, he was invited to give a keynote speech at the ceremony commemorating the 55th anniversary of said award.
□ The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an international award established to remember the example of integrity in government and outstanding character of former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay, who died in an airplane crash in 1957. Said award is often called Asia’s Nobel Prize.
□ Established in May 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation presents the award annually to Asian individuals achieving excellence in their respective fields (Public Service, Peace and International Understanding, Community Leadership, Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts). A total of 19 South Koreans have received the award, including Mr. Park Won-soon, Mr. Jang Jun Ha, and Ms. Kim Hwal Lan. Currently, only Emergent Leadership remains, with the five other categories discontinued starting 2009.
□ On August 12, Mr. Park Won Soon gave a keynote speech on how to address urban problems in Asia. He talked about his experience as a human rights lawyer and a civic activist. He also presented cases on urban development, urban refurbishment, and welfare wherein he solved problems as Seoul Mayor with the people’s participation.
□ Mr. Park Won Soon took part in a meeting held at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) office on August 13, with MMDA Chairman Francis N. Tolention and mayors of 17 cities in Metro Manila attending. There, the attendees shared examples of good policies and discussed ways of mutual coexistence between cities. They also introduced their cities’ urban planning and measures taken for transportation, flood prevention, and environmental protection. Seoul City plans to come up with ways for the brisk exchange of urban policies and export its good urban policies based on what was discussed at the meeting.
□ Mr. Park Won Aoon also attended a debate session on realizing participatory governance held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Conference Center in Manila. The 100-plus attendees (government officials, those engaged in public innovation, and civic leaders) discussed innovative ways for the invigoration of participatory governance.
□ According to Seoul Metropolitan Government, the delegation’s visit to the Philippines served as an occasion to introduce the city’s good policies in a foreign country. It expects the two countries to cooperate closely in various areas.