Barangay Captains from the 5th district of the province were almost perfect in attendance during the Association of Barangay Captains District Conference last February 20 at the Sacred Heart Center.
The conference is part of the initiatives of Governor Hilario Davide as the best place for the provincial government to showcase the province ingenuity for the people. In the same way, it is also the best place for the barangay captains to consult and bring about their concerns in their community. In addition, the main goal of the conference is to achieve a constant dialogue between the governor and the people in the communities all over the province.
During the conference, the department heads presented the provincial government’s projects and programs; some are new and some that has long been there but are not utilized.
Clarrifications about the programs and activities of the different provincial departments were also carried through by the department heads providing answers to the concerns that were raised. Some quiries were about cash assistance, medical missions, etc.
PB member Celestino Martinez III, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay of Cebu Provincial Chapter encouraged the barangay leaders to take part in informing and implementing some programs for the grassroots.
Dr. Cynthia Genosolango of Provincial Health Office explained public health programs designed to help less fortunate individuals. People who can afford less for hospitalization and are not yet profiled to NHTS-PR or National Household Training System for Poverty Reduction Project of DSWD are qualified to avail the Point of Care Program of PhilHealth.
Projects for maternal health such as Adolescent Youth Development and Health Program or the program for young parents, family planning and Facility Based Deliveries (FBD) for birthing centers were introduced. Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) and Nutrition programs like supplemental feeding, operation timbang plus, child hygiene awareness were made for child health care. Another health project was given emphasized, the Group Accident Insurance Program of the provincial government for barangay officials including treasurers and secretaries, lupon tagapamayapa (not more than 80 years old), barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, day care center workers (not more than 65 years old), barangay animal health aide and barangay tanods (not more than 60 years old).
On the other hand, Governor Hilario Davide III has been very keen and vocal in drug-related issues. That is why CPADAC came up with a project entitled Just Say No.
On that same day of the district conference, the executive director of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drugs Abuse Commission or CPADAC Mr. Alberto Herrera Jr. who was one of the speaker delivered the campaign of Just Say No. This program aims to empower the local citizens to be directly involved in solving their community’s drug problems. They want to mobilize and bring together the community leaders, parents, churches, civic groups and the youth to help identify and reduce drug use and abuse.
Just Say No advocacy is to inform, educate, and provide trainings. Part also of this project is to boost the morale of the community in helping the government through the installation of the Performance Scorecard System and Incentives and Awards System.
Herrera stated that according to Sec 21 of the Republic Act No. 9165, the apprehending team having the custody of seized dangerous drugs shall conduct a physical inventory and photograph of the items in the presence of a person from whom such items were confiscated, a representative of the National Prosecution Service or the Media and an elected pubilc official. That’s when the role of the barangay captains in the community comes in. If they refuse to be witnesses they might undergo into disciplinary actions, or suffer from administrative liability and criminal liability.
Farming and fishing claims to be a big part as source of living in the North Cebu. Cebu Provincial Government through the Provincial Agriculture Office offers Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP). Dr. Roldan Saragena, the officer in charge of PAO shared the future projects to the barangay captains. They are now identifying some LGUs for the Provincial Tilapia Hatchery and Nursery Establishment, farm to market road projects, and post harvest development and farm mechanization for community based grain processing center. Also, maintenance and monitoring of the previous activities and trainings will continue and the assurance of a 10M Agri-fishery Insurance Program.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale who graced the district conference shared how limited the legislative assistance fund in the office of the vice governor. “Kamu gyud nasayud kung unsa ka limitado atong budget sa opisina sa vice governor. Unya di sab ta makaboot ug panghatag kay limitado man sad ang mga proyekto nga gitugutan natung mahatagan.” (Everyone knows how limited our budget in my office. As much as I wanted to help, the projects that are allowed to receive asistance are also limited). Nonetheless, Magpale said they have budgeted very well the distribution of the cash assistance for projects such as livelihood programs, halad ni lolo ug lola, socio-cultural activities, and many more.
The Vice Governor also recalled when the Governor called for a summit with all the stakeholders to determine what were the most important agenda for the Cebuanos. That was the time when they came up with the six points agenda of the Cebu provincial government. Magpale was thankful to the governor on initiating conferences and meetings involving the very people from the smallest to the biggest community in which an open communication is available.