By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – Some 42,000 village chiefs and other newly elected officials throughout the country will undergo continuing training to better equip and prepare them in leading their communities.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos on Friday said the training program, called Grassroots Renewal and Empowerment for Accountable and Transparent (GREAT) Barangays, is designed to capacitate the village officials in all aspects of leadership.
“The DILG, through the Local Government Academy (LGA), ensures that our newly elected barangay officials are ready to face the challenges of leadership in the barangays,” Abalos said in a news release.
The training program will commence with a two-day basic orientation course to introduce them to the fundamentals of barangay governance, particularly on the relevant provisions of the Local Government Code, development planning, budget and finance, participation, and public ethics and accountability.
Apart from the orientation course, GREAT will also provide technical assistance in the implementation of specialized courses on barangay governance, enriching citizen participation, and performance management.
The Seal of Good Local Governance for Barangays (SGLGB) will be discussed extensively in the program.
The DILG has yet to release the schedule of the trainings.
To ensure the participation of all barangay leaders, the DILG will employ a multi-stakeholder approach through the Local Governance Resource Centers at the regional and sub-regional level to partner with the Liga ng mga Barangay and other concerned offices.
Meanwhile, Abalos reminded local government unit officials not to be tunnel-visioned in their infrastructure initiatives.
He advised them to make sure that all their projects are geared towards development and must cater to the real needs in their communities.
Abalos made the call during the “Kwentong Tagumpay: Innovative Practices in Local Infrastructure Governance” event held in Parañaque City on Thursday.
Abalos was represented by DILG Undersecretary Odilon Pasaraba, according to another news release on Friday.
The DILG chief stressed that local infrastructure projects must not be blindly treated as the sole indicator of progress, just for the purpose of “mindlessly expending precious government resources on building for the sake of building.”
“Let us view infrastructure not as an end, but a means toward an improved life for everyone,” he said.
He cited as an example Iloilo Province’s Zero Open Defecation Movement, which resulted in the improvement of the overall sanitation in the 1,721 barangays of the province.
The project helped in the reduction of food, water-borne and soil-transmitted diseases, and overall improvement in the nutritional status and quality of life of residents. (PNA)