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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines now has another batch of best practices to inspire local government units (LGU).

This year, the following 10 LGU best practices were selected. Winning LGUs received the coveted Galing Pook marker and P100,000 from the LGA.

An awarding ceremony was held on October 12, 2017, to cap off the two-day “Festival of Best Practices.” (READ: LGUs share governance solutions at 'Festival of Best Practices')

The recipients of the 2017 Galing Pook Awards were:

  • Angono, Rizal - Participatory and Systemic Governance for Socio-economic Development
  • Cagayan de Oro City - Rising Up from the Mud
  • Davao del Norte - Community-Based Road Maintenance Contracting
  • General Santos City - LIKAY DROGA (Lingap sa Kabataang Ayaw sa Droga)
  • Palompon, Leyte - Integrated Community-Based Eco-Tourism and Coastal Resource Management (ICOMBTO-CRM)
  • Pasig City - Bayanihan sa Daan Sustainable Transport
  • San Felipe, Zambales - Monthly Search for Galing Barangay and Galing Purok
  • San Luis, Aurora - Greening the Local Community (Dimanayat Micro-Hydro Power Project)
  • San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte - Catching Rain
  • Valenzuela City - Disiplina Village

Another 10 finalists were in contention for the prize:

  • Province of Iloilo - Iloilo TEENiran: Iloilo School-Based Multipurpose Teen Center
  • Lamitan City, Basilan - Reaching Out Serving Everyone Caravan
  • Naga City, Camarines Sur - Mainstreaming Migration and Development in Governance of Naga City and the Bicol Region
  • Naga City, Camarines Sur - Building Socially Inclusive Economic Enterprises: Rebranding the Bicol Central Station and Naga City People’s Mall
  • Panglao, Bohol - REACH Panglao – Reforms in Education Achieved through Community Help (A Journey from Homes to Hotels)
  • Pasig City - Tagamasid ng Pasig: Nagmamalasakit, Nagbabantay, Umaaksyon
  • Pilar, Bohol - Productivity Improvement through Landcare and Agricultural Resource Development and Management (PILAR DAM) Program
  • San Joaquin, Iloilo - Coastal Resource Management Program with Special Focus on the Establishment of Marine Protected Areas
  • San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte - Catching Rain
  • Tagum City, Davao del Norte - Balik Sigla and Tagumpay Gulayan Programs for a Healthy Community
  • Vigan City, Ilocos Sur - Eskwela de los Mataderos

All 20 finalists presented their best practices during a forum held on October 11, 2017. Before that, they also underwent “rounds of rigid program review and actual site validations,” according to Galing Pook Chairperson Ma. Lourdes Fernando.

Size not an issue in local governance

During his keynote address, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara congratulated the 20 finalists, adding that Galing Pook recipients past and present show that it is possible for any local government to succeed.

Using the example of Limasawa, a 6th class municipality in Southern Leyte, he explained that with limited resources, the town was able to reduce their malnutrition and maternal mortality rates.

He told them: “Kung kaya po ng isang 6th class municipality, siguro kaya po ng lahat ng ating mga local government units na umasenso. Tama lang po dapat ang mga prayoridad, tama lang po ang mga desisyon.”

(If a 6th class municipality can do it, I’m sure all of our local government units can succeed. It just needs the right priorities, right decisions.)

Local government reforms

As a bonus to the local officials, Angara announced that the Committee on Local Government is reviewing the Local Government Code of 1991. Angara called this the “exam” after years of review.

This is being done with the following:

  • Officer-in-Charge of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Catalino Cuy
  • Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero
  • University of the Philippines Professor Edna Co
  • Rosario Manasan
  • Bureau of Local Government Development Director Anna Bonagua

The reforms include changes to local fiscal capacity, barangay reform, and inter-local cooperation, among others.

Speaking to the officials in the audience he said: “Alam ninyo kung kaninong lupa bibilhin para itayo yung mga classroom ng DepEd (Department of Education). Sila mayor, sila governor, alam naman kung saan irerelocate yung mga nakatira sa tabi ng riles, sa tabi ng highway, mas alam po yan ng mayor, ng governor.”

(You know whose land to buy so you can build DepEd’s classrooms. The mayors and governors know where to relocate those who live beside train tracks, beside highways, mayors and governors know that better.)

“We don't have to reinvent the wheel, all we need to do is build upon the foundation that has already been built,” he said, adding that seeing the best practices Galing Pook features makes the reform process easier by showing programs that can be institutionalized.

 

You can view photos from the activity by clicking here.

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