Jesse Robredo

Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government; former mayor, Naga City
Focus Area(s)
City Management
Michael Scharff
Country of Reform
Date of Interview
Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Jesse Robredo discusses his tenure as mayor of Naga City, during which he significantly improved service delivery and public housing. He is credited with largely eradicating patronage politics as part of civil service. Robredo explains the problems he saw in Naga City immediately after taking office, the strategies he implemented to address them, and how he dealt with opposition to these changes. He focuses on the city government’s relationship with the Catholic Church, the use of eminent domain in building public housing, and the steps he took to fund reforms. Robredo then touches on public education issues and his relationship with national government during these reforms.    

Case Study:  Building Trust and Promoting Accountability: Jesse Robredo and Naga City, Philippines, 1988-1998 and Listening to the Public: A Citizen Scorecard in the Philippines, 2010-2014

Full Interview

48 MB
Jesse Robredo Interview
At the time of this interview, Jesse Robredo was the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, a position he had held since July 2010.  He served six terms as mayor of Naga City, beginning in 1988.  He is credited with turning the city around, for which he received numerous awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000 and the 1998 Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence.  When he was first elected in Naga City, Robredo was 29 years old and the youngest mayor in the Philippines.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from De La Salle University, a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of the Philippines.  Secretary Robredo died in a plane crash in August 2012.
building citizen support
making services accessible
managing informal settlement
presidential appointees
revenue generation
Not specified