Lagawe’s Poblacion South village moves towards progress

LAGAWE, IFUGAO — The Sanggunian Barangay of Poblacion South in Lagawe has begun on the right note by pursuing several development initiatives to pave the way towards a better and progressive community.
These initiatives include partnerships with the national government and integration of programs aimed at improving the lives of the people, most especially the poor, among others.
According to Punong Barangay Chresente Da-ang, the Poblacion South Barangay Council is an extension of the village families’ thrust to build a better future. He said that the barangay government was initially created to “deliver the basic services to the people,” but it eventually evolved to include many other functions to primarily promote the well-being of the people.
Moreover, according to Da-ang, a well-meaning program would complement the government’s efforts to reduce poverty incidence in rural areas.
The last thing you’d expect to see in a barangay at the year-end period is a huge gathering of villagers at a general assembly program. And yet there it was, at the key hours of a chilly day, a mammoth throng of residents here were recalling the council’s accomplishments in 2018. Even strange, visitors and guests from other places expressed solidarity with villagers in their quests to further elevate the status of the barangay to greater heights.
All told, the activity reflected the people’s attitude, passion and enthusiasm about what they want to do to the programs initiated by the previous administration of Punong Barangay Christopher Pagadut. The milestones achieved by Punong Barangay Da-ang’s predecessor easily showed that the men and women who comprised the barangay council have truly proven themselves as catalysts for change.
“The officials of Poblacion South Barangay Council prepared this program with our constituents in mind- our beloved residents. This gives us the opportunity to share our plans with them,” Punong Barangay Da-ang told the ZigZag Weekly.
“I hope it further sparks their interest to continue working with us for the betterment of the barangay,” he added.
He also emphasized the need to hold consultations and dialogues with the people on a regular basis.
“If the barangay council as a local government unit or LGU can become truly relevant in these changing times, everyone will feel more valued, and this will help create a better place to live in,” he asserted in the same interview.
Fortunately, the men and women surrounding Punong Barangay Da-ang at the Sanggunian Barangay are invaluable assets to the man at the helm long considered by many in the town as a promising leader of Lagawe.
They include kagawads (councilmen) Johnson Guinanoy, Joy Allaga, Ricky Humiding, Michaela Sanchez, Romando Botuagan, Peter Tayaban and Gerard Pagadut. Barangay secretary is Jane Dinamling. Jemree Binwag is the Sanggunian Kabataan (youth council) chairman.
A significant segment of the activity really stood out. A dance contest for the village’s children was held. They competed in school-age brackets. The barangay’s various puroks were represented. Parlor games and dance competitions were also conducted. Lunch was served to the program’s 300 participants.
Fortunato Tayaban, the village’s senior citizens association president, also spoke. Natividad Tayaban and Delia Marie Ali also took part.
As the barangay general assembly coincided with Poblacion South Barangay Christmas and New Year party, residents gathered at the barangay hall grounds to ponder on the meaning and essence of love, happiness and holiday cheer. But have they ever wondered who are now thinking of their welfare and challenges of a fast-changing world brought about by digital innovations?
The barangay general assembly was intended by law to provide a venue for barangay council officials to report financial and committee accomplishment reports. Likewise, officials have an opportunity to spell out their plans, programs and activities for the new year. Supplanting this all important activity, an open forum has been included to clarify questions regarding pressing concerns in the barangay. As this is the most opportune time to discuss vital issues such as health, sanitation, youth and children, infrastructure, administrative, peace and order, environment and education, it’s a must. There are two general assemblies in a year as mandated by law. Take note that a barangay fiesta is different from a barangay general assembly. Nor a Christmas party is synonymous to a barangay general assembly.
In an era where the ranks of jobless folks and troubled teenagers swelled, as did fears of economic difficulties caused by the high cost of living, the Poblacion South Barangay Council certainly offered further evidence of the value of good and responsive leadership. Surely, the resident who received prompt assistance from the barangay council here at the wee hours of the morning will find value on what another villager went through and realized that as bad as this moment may be for him or her, as with his or her loved ones, all things are possible with good governance.
“It’s important to have competent, compassionate and caring officials in the grassroots level and I’m really, really happy when I find one,” a resident said. She readily acknowledged the men and women of Poblacion South Barangay Council as her reference point.
The Poblacion South Barangay Council’s mission is to improve living standards of the people by supporting noteworthy programs, projects and activities recommended by the citizenry. It seeks to provide a comprehensive range of services this year. The council also supports the aspirations of nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs). It is currently one of the most active LGUs in Ifugao.
Timely and relevant policies going forward under the present dispensation could incentivize active participation of the youth, elderly, businessmen, professionals and those in the agriculture sector in the barangay.
Poblacion South is the site of church-operated Don Bosco High School, Southville Hotel (one of the best lodging places in Ifugao), National Food Authority and the Provincial Capitol Building compound. So it has the big edge. These facilities are another way to promote the barangay as a destination to lure local and foreign tourists. It only needs to conceptualize a unique village-themed festival in order to convince them to visit or revisit the barangay. A colorful and spectacular festival and not just the in-the-box “barangay fiesta” should be strongly considered. It is as easy as saying “come, see and savor the difference of the place.” A tourist will be warmly welcomed by cheerful, friendly and hospitable residents.
Through continuous development and innovation, the Poblacion South Barangay Council strives to fulfill its thrust towards achieving a brighter tomorrow for its people. **By Anthony A. Araos

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