Saturday, October 5, 2013

100 Days

It is expected that in the following weeks, many of our newly-elected local chief executives, mayors and governors from all over the land, would go public and report their accomplishments on first 100 days of office. Though not mandated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government or DILG, mayors and governors are not precluded to do their own version of the State of the Nation Address or SONA. The Local Government Code of 1991 is silent on the matter but some people from DILG are encouraging them to have their own state of the province, city or municipal address. This way, their respective constituents will know what their leaders are doing.

If ever, with great enthusiasm, I am wondering what would be the salient points and gist of our new provincial governor’s State of the Province Address (SOPA). What were his major achievements in the past four months? When and where it will be held? Aside from his achievements or accomplishments as the new governor, presumably the people are eager to know what are his administration’s plans and what we would expect for the next 3 years, until the end of his term come 2016. That’s what we want to hear so we pray he will render his widely covered SOPA before us.

Our governor, though he have been into politics and public service for quite a long time, has to prove his critics wrong that he is just living in the shadow of his predecessor. There are people, in their wildest and malicious imagination, who consider him as a mere follower, if not only a loyal double of the province’s current representative to Congress, his political patroness. For his critics, without her, he’s nothing. So, now is the best time for him to independently deliver using his own decisions, prerogative and choices, including his very elusive smile especially during photo-ops.  

Now as a governor, I am looking forward to see more from the man. We, people of Occidental Mindoro deserve more. We deserve not only information but bright future too. He deserves not only to prove his worth but cooperation as well from the people, friend or foe, political affiliation-wise.

But being an experienced local chief executive, our governor would not have a hard time doing his responsibility for the general supervision and control over all program, project, services and activities for the province. Our governor hopefully would bring about, effectively and efficiently, concrete and lasting changes to Occidental Mindoro, our beautiful province with its equally beautiful citizens.

As a resident and a taxpayer, I want to be enlightened on what are the important and essential legislative measures he initiated or about to initiate, proposed or about to propose to the Provincial Board, among others.

During the first 100 days, every local chief executive like a governor, especially those who are new to their current position, has to do some staffing changes based on her/his initial analysis of the LGUs staffing pattern. Determine, too, its fiscal status and the Budget Call. Source of support and resistance must be identified and ultimately call for cooperation with the local bureaucracy. Start to interface with the local legislative board, strengthen the linkages with every municipality and if possible, every barangay, be it his political turf or not. It is also essential at this early phase of leadership to re-organize the local special bodies along with the review of the progress of the year’s Annual Investment Program or AIP and finalize the preparation of the following year’s Executive Budget.

Our governor is aware of all of these and he’s open for suggestions coming from opinion shapers like this lowly blogger. I am 100% sure of this.

And in case you do not know, we are now celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of the Local Government Code of the Philippines. Through Presidential Proclamation No. 63, October was declared as the Local Government Month, with the second week of October as the Local Government Week and the 10th day of October as Local Government Day in the country, in line with the signing of the Local Government Code of 1991, the bible of local governance, with the theme, “Kilos Progreso, Makilahok sa Pag-asenso” that embodies a call for united and concerted action for national progress.

Going back to our topic, the first 100 days is a period when one LCE implement doable commitments to the people, especially during the campaigns and those things that are found in their Social Contract with the people. The LCE and the people under each department should and must document, disseminate and celebrate small wins.

The first 100 days mark is the end of the beginning. Let us see if he fell from this early stage (no pun intended!). Knowing the early goings of all the LGUs present administration is important and the transition period matters so much.

By the way, in the absence of the state of the province, city or municipal address, local leaders can report their accomplishments to their constituents by submitting their local governance report to the DILG or by posting it at the bulletin board of the provincial, city or municipal buildings or at their respective websites. That is acceptable already, says DILG.

Posting them on Facebook, too, would be cool...

(Photo grabbed without permission from Gov. Mario Gene J. Mendiola's Facebook account)

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