ZFF president is 2018 David Rockefeller leadership awardee

Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) President Ernesto Garilao was honored last May 8 in New York for his work in building collaborations among local health leaders, resulting in improved health systems in rural communities in the Philippines.

Called the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, this is given by the Synergos, a global nonprofit organization working to solve complex problems of poverty through trust building and collaboration.

During the awarding ceremony, Synergos founder and executive chairman Peggy Dulany said, “When Synergos began to work in the Philippines, we were fortunate to connect to people like Ernie. People steeped in grassroots activism and social change but who would also learned how to build bridges with institutions in government and business who held significant power.” Dulany is one of the children of the late David Rockefeller, a known philanthropist.

In his acceptance speech, Garilao said, “Bridging Leadership in the Philippines was a seed planted by Synergos in 2001. It fell on fertile ground and bore great fruit shared by many stakeholders and communities in search for equitable outcomes.”

Bridging leadership (BL) is an approach that aims to build trust among multi-stakeholders resulting in effective collaborations to address inequities.

Garilao started his work in BL when he was still with the Asian Institute of Management, focusing on conflicted areas south of the Philippines. By 2008, he started his work with ZFF and developed the Health Change Model (HCM) strategy using the BL framework to help local leaders in poor communities achieve better health for their constituents. Since then, Garilao led ZFF as it grew its reach from just nine rural municipalities to 740 municipalities and 40 provinces in less than a decade primarily through a partnership with the Department of Health. The year 2018 marks the 10th year ZFF has been using its strategy to improve local health systems.

Former Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman also received the award for championing people-focused development both in the Philippines and internationally.


David Rockefeller BL Award

Ernesto Garilao during the awarding ceremony (Photo courtesy of Synergos)

Watch the full speech here.