The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) culminated today its newly-elected officials (NEO) orientation program for the country’s 81 first-time and re-elected provincial governors as it challenged them “to step up in the journey towards good local governance.”
“We have made great leaps but we will have mountains to hurdle. As the highest level of local government units (LGUs), provinces are demanded to step up in the fight against illegal drugs, insurgency, and corruption,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said during the activity held at Crowne Plaza, Ortigas Center in Quezon City.
“I urge you to push for a society that thrives in development, bannered by a government prioritizing local governments,” he added.
The NEO program is a continuing intervention of the DILG through the Local Government Academy (LGA) in its commitment to provide a harmonized and holistic capacity development delivery mechanism for local governments all over the country.
The three-day orientation course on Priming Local Leaders for Effective Governance jumpstarted the series of activities under the NEO program where the newly-minted governors crafted their respective First 100 Days Plan and Executive Agenda.
“May this orientation keep the fire of public service ablaze in your hearts as you carry your sacred duties with dignity,” said DILG Undersecretary for Local Governance Marivel C. Sacendoncillo.
The NEO orientation course is composed of six modules, namely Local Governance and the Evolving role of Local Leaders; Building Resilient Local Governments; Leadership for Peace and Development; Localizing the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy; Solution-Seeking Sessions on Key Governance Issues; and Setting Your Governance in Motion.
LGA Executive Director Thelma Vecina explained that the NEO program is a complete innovative package aimed to enhance the competencies of the 43 first-timers and 38 re-elected governors in carrying out their new tasks as leaders in community development.
“We have lectures, video presentations, chat shows, peer-to-peer sharing, talk shows, knowledge products, tasks and responsibilities checklist that will guide you in promoting peace and resilience towards inclusive and sustainable development,” Vecina said.
“Let this NEO program be our modest contribution to you as you journey in the next three years,” she added.
During the activity, former three-term Bohol governor and now Congressman of First District Hon. Edgar M. Chatto handed over a reference book to ULAP. Said reference book showcased the experience of Bohol province in its recovery from the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013 and the Abu Sayaff encounter in 2017.
He advised the governors to put their trajectory in the next 6-16 years even if their term is just three years. “Leadership is a gift from God for man to develop and share with others,” Chatto said.
Meanwhile, DILG Bureau of Local Government Supervision Director Odilon Pasaraba urged the governors to further upscale their level of good local governance by passing all the seven areas of the Seal of Good Local Governance.
These include financial management, disaster preparedness, social protection, peace and order, business-friendliness and competitiveness, environment management, tourism, and culture and arts.
“The robustness of local governments is the robustness of the DILG. We are partners in promoting the excellent performance of local governments,” Pasaraba said.