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Bohol mayors, vice-mayors in need of direction
« on: July 10, 2007, 12:06:54 PM »
An article published by the Bohol Chronicle on July 8, 2007

After shepherding provincial officials and heads of national government agencies into setting targets with harmonized plans and budgets, the Local Governance Development Program (LGDP) - an Australian government and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) initiative downloaded the process to Bohol's mayors, vice mayors and other officials.

In the same manner that Gov. Erico Aumentado's ten-point legacy agenda guided the provincial level planning and budgeting process, he also thrashed them out for the municipal level planners - but only after he told them his two secrets for success of any local government unit.

"First, build bridges instead of walls. Second, build on the accomplishments of your predecessors," he said.

Extend the hand of reconciliation - bury the hatchet, so to speak, so that no ill feelings, rancor, hatred or blind passion will obfuscate these officials' decision- or policy-making, he said.

More can be achieved with unity and cooperation through such bridges. On the other hand, all this will be difficult with self-isolating walls, he explained, hence the need to build alliances.
          

The provincial government itself wants to build alliances with the municipal local government units in order to leave a legacy for good governance and development.

To ensure that progress is unhampered, Aumentado exhorted the new mayors to continue and even improve the projects of their predecessors - not scrap or scuttle them as the latter would be a waste of time, effort and precious meager money.

Taking two steps backward when one already has taken a step forward is uncalled for, he added.

Besides, synergistic alliances among LGUs can accelerate development from which the municipal LGUs and their leaders would be the first to benefit especially in economic growth, poverty reduction, social services delivery, provision of necessary infrastructure, sustained trust and confidence of the electorate.

The ten-point agenda To build a greater Bohol, Aumentado has been pushing agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, managing population growth, improved well-being, attaining environmental sustainability, expanding economic opportunities, fostering creativity, peace and stability in the communities and better governance.

He is bullish for food sufficiency at the household level thru higher productivity as well as increasing tourist arrivals by accessing new markets like China and Korea, and projecting Bohol as a family-oriented destination to increase domestic tourist arrivals including the home stay program.

Up in the infrastructure agendum are the completion of the Panglao Bohol International Airport, Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project Phase 3, source funds for the feasibility study and detailed engineering for priority water supply projects identified under the AusAID funded Bohol Water Supply Master Plan as well as for the feasibility study of the Bohol-Cebu Friendship or Multi-Access Bridge and the Bohol Irrigation Project Phase 3, and develop critical environment infrastructure like sanitary landfills, waste treatment plant, among others.

With meager government resources, the population boom must be checked in order not to spread such resources too thin hence reduction of the population growth rate must be given focus.

To improve well-being, Aumentado said hospital services must be upgraded, PhilHealth coverage for indigents must be increased, adequate housing in partnership with the Gawad Kalinga provided, medical missions like the open heart surgeries scheduled this month must be supported as well as the animal control programs to eliminate the incidence of rabies, etc.

Under expanding economic opportunities, Aumentado intends to, among others, convert the Tagbilaran Airport into a special economic zone once the Panglao Airport is operational.

Fostering creativity involves strengthening efforts to develop Boholano culture and heritage. Peace and stability involves strengthening peace and development initiatives by building the capacity of the barangays in addressing problems.

address the root cause of insurgency that is poverty, and drastically reduce incidence of criminality.

For better governance, employee performance and results must be emphasized instead of activities and outputs, computerized systems must be installed and maintained to improve LGU operations and expand the revenue base to fund development programs and initiatives.

Provincial Planning Officer Juanito Cambangay set the tone for the gathering with his statement of purpose: Bohol alliance-building in the context of planning and budgeting - complete with "road maps."

Provincial Director Rustica Mascariñas of the Department of the Interior and Local
Government (DILG-Bohol) gave the how's and the why's - the Local Governance Performance System (LGPMS) and the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) of DILG, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Finance (DOF) to ensure that such plans and budgets are harmonized.

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