January 19, 2015
Honourable colleagues, students from the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology, supervised by Ma’am Angie Felizemnio, co-employees of the city government, officials and volunteers of the barangays, our friends from the media, venerable guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
Allow me to have a few minutes of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s 123rd Regular Session to share to you the highlights of the first-ever Oustanding Sangguniang Barangay Awards held last Saturday, January 16, 2016, at the Avenue Convention Center. The activity, well attended by our barangay officials and representatives of our people’s council at the barangay with Hon. Leni Robredo, our vice president, as guest of honor, and DILG Bicol Regional Director Louisa Pastor as keynote speaker, served as the monitoring and evaluation component of the Empowerment and Advancement of Barangays on Local Legislation (ENABL2E) Program.
With the sole purpose of bringing down to the grassroots level the good governance practices of the city, particularly of this August chamber, ENABL2E Program, introduced by yours truly and sponsored by Councilors Gregorio Abonal, Elmer Baldemoro and Vidal Castillo, began on a capability building training. The Conference on Barangay Legislation held on April 10-12, 2014 enhanced the understanding of our barangay officials on their powers as local legislators and on their responsibilities to write and enact legislative measures, follow the rudiments of the parliamentary and legislative procedures, and promote the principles of good urban governance.
To serve as ready reference and fresh reminder of the lessons taught in the Conference, this representative even wrote a book, entitled Barangay Legislation and Good Governance. Each punong barangay, kagawad and secretary of the 27 Barangays of Naga have been provided with a copy of the book, with two extras for archiving in their respective barangay libraries.
If our honourable councilors may clearly recall, we also allowed them to observe the conduct of our regular sessions here in the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The same with what our students from BISCAST are experiencing, our barangay officials also sat in our gallery in March of 2014 and exposed themselves on this body’s parliamentary and legislative processes. We also gave them time to ask questions and express their sentiments.
After the lecture was through, as with the academe, an examination should follow to test the retention and application of the lessons learned. The Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay Awards laid out the groundwork to gauge the performance of barangay councils against defined criteria.: a) effectiveness of Legislative Agenda (15%), b) effectiveness of legislative tracking system (10%), c) availability of legislative documents (10%), d) efficiency of performance of Sangguniang Barangay (50%), and e) quality of office set-up and sanggunian deliberations (15%).
To give ample time to our barangays to materialize the insights and ideas they have gained from our previous interventions and enact the necessary legislative measures to support the same, the Awards Committee was only convened in the first quarter of 2015. Headed by Jesse M. Robredo Good Governance Center Executive Director Renne Gumba and comprised of Sanggunian Secretary Gil A. Dela Torre, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Jose B. Perez and, as representative of the academe, Professor Kenjie Jimenea of the University of Nueva Caceres, the committee was tasked to oversee the administration of the search.
Alas, after conducting on-site observation and evaluation of the regular sessions of the barangays and scrutinizing the legislative documents they submitted, the Awards Committee found out the three most empowering, most effective and most innovative Sangguniang Barangays. Announced and conferred last Saturday, January 16, 2016, the three Outstanding Sangguniang Barangays for 2013-2015 are 1) Barangay Concepcion Pequena – first place, 2) Barangay Dayangdang – second place, and 3) Barangay Pacol – third place. The winners received a plaque each. In addition, Concepcion Pequena was granted P1,000,000 worth of projects as a prize, while the second and the third placers were rewarded P750,000 and P500,000 worth of projects, respectively.
These three barangays have carved a mark in Naga’s history. They are the first to be recognized and rewarded on their exemplary performance as Sangguniang Barangays.
In addition, our ENABL2E Program has also etched a special spot in the annals of governance not only in Naga but also in the entire Bicol Region and the Philippines. As can be inferred from the words of DILG Bicol Regional Director Louisa Pastor who also relayed to us a message from current Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, perhaps, we are the first local government unit who have gone through tremendous lengths to capacitate the barangay councils, identify their strengths and pinpoint the gaps needed to be addressed in the coming years. ENABL2E Program and its various components, particularly the Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay, have again manifested Naga’s ingenuity and continuous commitment to advance the principles of good governance espoused by the late Interior Secretary and former Naga City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo.
Given these laudable accomplishments, ladies and gentlemen of this honourable body, let me solicit your support in passing resolutions of commendation to the Awards Committee of the Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay for a job well done, as well as resolutions of congratulations to the three Outstanding Sangguniang Barangays – Concepcion Pequena, Dayangdang and Pacol – for being empowering, effective, efficient and excellent barangay councils. The committee and the awardees have significantly contributed in making Naga City a truly Maogmang Lugar.
Dios Mabalos po!