November 19, 2013
Honorable Mayor John G. Bongat, distinguished members of this August chamber, my co-government employees in the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga and the other departments of City Hall, members of the media, our partners in the academe, venerable guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm Naga SMILES!
It is an honor and privilege to introduce and launch today another milestone in our efforts and advocacy to promote transparency, accountability and people-participation in Naga. The Sangguniang Panlungsod Student Participation Program, which Memorandum of Agreement will be signed today between and among the city government and the academe, is a testament to our commitment to sustain and enhance our good governance practices and to involve the youth in nation-building, consistent with our pledge and social contract duly stipulated in the H2ELP your CiTy agenda of our present administration
SP-SPP, in a nutshell, shall provide students of various colleges in the city an avenue to be exposed to the functions, duties and concerns of the Sanggunian Panlungsod. It is also a chance for us to listen to the insights and opinions of our young constituentsand to engage them as active stakeholders of Naga.This new breed of leaders may give us new ideas on how to improve further the socio-economic status of the city as well as the delivery of our crucial services to the public.
Starting next week, under the SP-SPP, different set of studentsshall sit as audience of our regular sessions. They will be taught of our legislative procedures and will be provided an opportunity to observe our deliberations.
This new program will also serve as a feedback mechanism. After our regular session, or during our recess, we will hold a 15- to 30-minute forum to give studentsthe opportunity to clarify procedural measures of the Sanggunian, provide their thoughts and comments on certain developmental issues being faced by the city, and/or offer suggestions on how to enhanceour existing mechanisms and projects.
We are grateful that for the last two months when we were discussing with the schools the concept and possible implementation of the program, the academe has been very receptive and appreciative of the intentions and expected benefits of SP-SPP and its mechanisms. The academe has shared the same sentiment in educating the youth regarding the legislative functions of the government and, as early as possible, in involving them in nation-building.
Today, we have the heads and representatives of the six major colleges in Naga to ink and seal our partnership between them in conducting this program. One by one, the schools we will be partnering with are the University of Nueva Caceres, Ateneo de Naga University, Universidad de Sta. Isabel, Naga College Foundation and the only state-run college in Naga, the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology.
At the end of the day, SP-SPP is expected to serve as a tool for the development of our city’s human resources and as an institutionalized mechanism for the proactive participation of the youth in our decision- and policy-making procedures. With the support of the academe, SP-SPP shall produce young Nagueňos who are not just happy, healthy and proud, but are also well-educated, empowered and actively involved in shaping the future of Naga City, An Maogmang Lugar.