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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

People's Council in all LGUs proposed
Writer: Dionisio P. Tubianosa, Media Relations Service-PRIB
11 September 2014 09:29:27 AM

A lady-lawmaker has proposed to institutionalize a system of partnership between local governments and civil society organizations as a concrete road to meaningful people empowerment.

"The people should be given a venue where they can decide on things that are good for them," Rep. Leni Gerona-Robredo (3rd District, Camarines Sur) declared.

Rep. Gerona-Robredo, the widow of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, is author of HB 4911 or the proposed Act to be known as "The People Empowerment Act of 201," which would create a "People's Council" in every LGU, prescribing its powers and functions.

It has been public knowledge that the late Sec. Robredo was an icon in good governance, revered for his simplicity as a man who listens to people, who crafted programs that allowed people to participate in the governance process.

"Every day since I was elected Representative of my district, I vowed to continue and elevate his legacy. I vowed to institutionalize the various programs he introduced to uphold good governance," the lady lawmaker said with a lace of emotion.

One of the late Secretary's legacies, she proudly cited, was instilling direct people participation in Naga City's system of governance during his term as Mayor of Naga.

Through the Empowerment Ordinance of Naga City, the Naga City People's Council (NCPC) was created allowing civil society participation in the governance process. Not only they were given seats in each Sanggunian committee, they were also given the power to vote on key measures at the committee level, she recalled.

"The creation of the NCPC paved the way for Naga's unprecedented progress. Civil society served as partner in determining key development programs and served as first hand sources in pinpointing issues that needed immediate attention. It also served as a guide in the crafting of City development plans," she pointed out.

She also added that the NCPC opened the way to supplement the government's resources because with the participation of civil society, the City government was able to have access to a pool of talent and resources that were previously untapped.

"Because of the participation of trained professional, infrastructure projects were strategically built and positioned and programs were geared toward specific goals like health and education," Gerona-Robredo explained.

The proposed "People Empowerment Act of 2014," Gerona-Robredo stressed, "seeks to mimic" her late husband's Naga City governance strategy.

"It will push for an environment where people can participate in policy and decision-making processes countrywide," she concluded.