September 10, 2014
To the officers of the Bicol Association of Sanggunian Secretaries (BASS), headed by the Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Camarines Sur, Nimfa B. Cas, to the secretaries and assistant secretaries of the various legislative councils in Bicol, to all the guests, ladies and gentlemen, marhay na aga saindo gabos!
It is a privilege to serve as a keynote speaker of your esteemed organization’s Regional Executive Board Meeting cum Seminar-Workshop. Thank you for the invitation and for this opportunity.
This gathering, which seeks to advance the principles of good governance, responsive local legislation and effective records management, is an important milestone in advancing our goal of serving the Filipino people, especially our respective constituencies. Sharing of best practices among and between the different Sanggunian of our region is crucial in advancing our individual proficiency and efficiency in local legislation, an indispensable tool of local governance. As such, to be faithful with the objective of this gathering, let me share to you some of our innovations in the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga.
In the field of records management and archives administration, which is the focus of this year’s seminar, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga, starting July last year, has begun tracking the disposal rate of the items referred to each of our 29 standing committees. Every now and then, the Secretariat of the Sangguniang Panlungsod furnishes us with reports of the items disposed by each of the committee and the matters still pending before them. Through this, we are being made constantly aware of our respective performance, as well as being reminded of important issues which should be decided upon with utmost responsiveness.
We have also committed to undertake the Codification Project, an initiative which aimsto categorize, consolidate, and codify all ordinances of the City of Naga. By having a systematic arrangement of laws, it will be easier for legislators to pose necessary amendments or required addenda, thus ensuring that policies are timely and relevant to present circumstances. More importantly, our people will find ease in understanding and observing the law applicable in a given circumstance, enabling them to maximize their privileges and to utilize such to improve their socio-economic status.
Beyond that, we have also committed to advance the ideals of the late President Ramon Magsaysay that “those who have less in life should have more in law” via involving the people in our legislative procedures. Through the Sangguniang Panlungsod Student Participation Program (SP-SPP), we invite students to observe our regular sessions and, after each session, to engage them in a forum where they can ask questions, raise development issues and/or propose recommendations for improvement of government mechanisms.Our partners in the academe has also committed to conduct post SP-SPP activities that will develop further the leadership skills of the youth and will provide them the venue to apply the lessons they learned from the program.
Meanwhile, the Empowerment and Advancement of Barangays in Local Legislation (ENABL2E) Program, established through Ordinance No. 2014-008 which I introduced and sponsored by three councilors of the city, seeks the proliferation and replication of our best practices in the 27 SangguniangBarangays of Naga. ENABL2E Program covers a one-day seminar on barangay legislation, a one-day observation of our session, a forum with us, city officials, and an establishment of an incentive mechanism through the Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay Awards. With this, we would like to ensure that, at the grass root level, there exists an empowering and enabling environment for the Nagueňos.
These are just some of the new initiatives we areundertaking to improvethe level of competency of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga and to deliver highest quality of service to our people. By monitoring our performance and by empowering and involving the public to, we are enhancing our efficacy as local legislators and, ultimately, making our best governance practices better.
I hope that some of the things I have shared to you today will help you in uplifting your respective constituencies’ quality of life. We believe that all our efforts should boil down to one simple maxim - salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of people is the supreme law). At the end of the day, the indicator of our success is how well we have uplifted the socio-economic status of our people and how well we have made our respective communities a Maogmang Lugar.
Dios Mabalos po!