Sense of pride shines among Lagawe’s Poblacion East officials

LAGAWE, IFUGAO – – Poverty alleviation, delivery of basic services to the people and promotion of good governance were the common, overriding and resounding issues and advocacies being pushed by Poblacion East Barangay Council officials at the recent barangay general assembly program.
“Conducting a barangay general assembly is clearly fitting and memorable. There is an image of a shining sun symbolizing the gains of the people in a barangay because of the sacrifices made by barangay council officials,” Punong Barangay Alfonso Dominong told the ZigZag Weekly.
Punong Barangay Dominong enumerated the council’s accomplishments during his State-of-the-Barangay Address (SOBA).
In his SOBA, Dominong assured that as chief executive of the village, he would continue pursuing programs and projects aimed at upgrading the conditions of the barangay as he bared his development plans for Poblacion East’s development for 2019.
The Poblacion East Barangay Council is one of the national government’s major partners in development. It serves all the puroks of the village.
“Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we shall be able to accomplish more in the remaining months 2018.” Dominong added.
That is why, he said, the officials of the barangay council are working double time to implement programs and projects.
“The determination to succeed, therefore, is stronger than ever,” he quipped.
Punong Barangay Dominong’s SOBA was highly-applauded. It drew positive responses from residents and guests alike.
The birthing clinic project is a major accomplishment of Poblacion East Barangay Council. Construction is underway and completion is reportedly expected just before the Christmas season. Once completed, the facility should help ease birth delivery problem in the barangay and adjacent villages. At such time, childbirth should be safe in this part of the capital town. For their part, villagers must keep in mind that they own the facility and they should benefit from it, hence, they should help maintain and sustain it. This makes construction of such all-important facility imperative in strongly pushing health care program for the poor. Thus, the one-story, Php 2 million Department of Health funded-project is a noteworthy antipoverty effort.
The birthing clinic itself stands out for its location, design, size and purpose.
Another vital concern tackled in the assembly is related to enforcing the law in all, whether famous and influential or ordinary people. Fighting criminality and curbing the use of illegal drugs are major thrusts of the Dominong administration. Kagawad Tomas Towanna Jr., chairman of the committee on peace and order, presented his report on this concern.
Punong Barangay noted that the council’s agenda on peace and order is aimed to contribute to the government’s goal of maintaining tranquility and security at all times by means of developing interventions.
Of course, like the other 175 villages in Ifugao, reducing the poverty of many residents is a major concern. Ifugao is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. This is where tie-ups or linkages with nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) for pursuance of livelihood ventures matter most. Civil society partnership is an essential delivery mode in channeling development assistance to the barangay government. NGOs and POs are longstanding partners of Poblacion East Barangay Council.
Poverty reduction is the most pressing problem here today and addressing this concern meant giving the much-needed priorities on jobs, income, food, infrastructure and good governance.
A barangay council should always be mindful of the tasks that are required of the members in reducing extreme poverty and inequality among the people.
Apart from facilitating and fast-tracking the delivery of fundamental services to the people, the Poblacion East Barangay Council offers other responsive services tailored to the needs of its residents. It is also actively involved in community projects that promote education, health, wellness, environmental protection and other activities that benefit the indigenous people’s (IPs).
The well-attended assembly is a concrete affirmation of the outstanding performance and a living testimony of the deep commitment and dedication to serve their constituents without reservation of Punong Barangay Dominong and kagawads (councilmen) Towanna, Alice Dinamling, Rachie Namingit, Arsenio Tuguinay, Pericles Galap, Conrado Panapan and Salvador Tayaban.
The same is true with barangay treasurer Rosallie Towanna and barangay treasurer Annievest Lablabong. Likewise, with Sangguniang Kabataan chairman Gian Keno Numbalin.
They took turns in presenting their accomplishment reports. Residents look forward to seeing their families or loved ones enjoy comfortable lives in the coming months. It was something Poblacion East Barangay Council officials can do for the sake of replication by others in the remaining 19 villages of Lagawe, something they can do as a family of leaders.
Sharing with hardworking and inspiring men and women leaders in the council is very motivating to Punong Barangay Dominong. It has given him the opportunity to learn even more about the needs of the people and, more importantly, how to respond to said needs.
Barangay council officials have consistently demonstrated exemplary ethical behavior. Other personnel of the council- such as Barangay Nutrition Scholar, Barangay Health Workers and tanods (watchmen), may have to emulate their attitude.
For her part, municipal social welfare and development officer Susan Gallangi called on barangay council officials and villagers to focus on caring for women, children and members of underserved sectors.
Her presence easily brought the government closer to the people. It also harmonized ties between all stakeholders.
Understandably, Mrs. Gallangi’s compassion for the poor and presentation on social protection measures has overshadowed the other speakers’ discussions. She clearly stressed the importance of the best-targeted social safety net program of the national government. Small wonder, because of her well-meaning deeds Mrs. Gallangi’s name become almost synonymous with highly-caring and dedicated officials in the region.
Erma Dangayo, Pastor Daniel Nanglihan, Gheni Naglihan and Aury Santillan also took part in the activity. Chief tanod Pepe Habiatan and his watchmen manned the cooking committee chores. Samuel Pantaleon acted as emcee.
Since its inception, the people have been exposed to many rare experiences during the barangay assembly program. In this case, there were so many speakers from government agencies in the local level. Yet, they received little or no attention at all from the participants. There were a few listeners. Many opted to talk with their seatmates. Some were busy with their cellphones. A number of folks brought their “mommas” and chewed them to their delight. Lunch was served rather late, and many went to the activity mindful of the “treat.” It is really a typical explanation for activities in the grassroots level. Will people ever come to a barangay general assembly without the food?
The practice of having too many speakers in a barangay general assembly has been going on for quite some time. It became apparent that even barangay council officials don’t give premium to their reports. This scribe found this to be truly distressing. Their “accomplishment reports” should be able to speak for themselves. Barangay council officials should be able to stand on their own. Where then is the principle of autonomy? The only thing that officials in the grassroots level can do right now is to be independent. They need not submit to the whims, caprices and dictates of politicians.
Improving the quality of life in the barangay, most especially the poor, has always been valued by Punong Barangay and his colleagues at the barangay government and it has welcomed to their fold ideas, suggestions, recommendations and outputs of those in the private sector that share same vision.
Punong Barangay Dominong and the councilmen have a longstanding reputation for supporting people in need, and marginalized sectors will count the continued support of the barangay council.
In the post-barangay general assembly period, many critical developments are to take place. Monitoring and evaluation of the so-called committee accomplishment reports largely yield lessons for future actions that the barangay council can undertake to ensure sustainability. Outputs, results and outcomes of projects should be measured by the councilmen.
When asked by a resident what this scribe’s assessment of the job performance of Punong Barangay Dominong and his councilmen, his response was quick and resonating. “Personally, I really feel that the barangay council officials, led by Punong Barangay Alfonso Dominong, have a renewed sense of hope and pride for the people. In a scale of ten, I’ll give them a grade of eight,” Mr. Araos motioned.
Straddling between and bounded by scenic villages of Tungngod on the south and Bolliwong on the east, Poblacion East is a major mixed-type residential and commercial barangay.
Poblacion East is better situated than the other three villages in the town proper because it plays host to the public market, Ifugao Electric Cooperative (IFELCO), Ifugao Global Entrepreneurs Multipurpose Cooperative (IGEMCO), Hope Christian School of Ifugao and several other key business establishments.
A village of mostly friendly people, a portion of Poblacion East at the main highway has a breathtaking view of vast rice fields.
Poblacion East claims the biggest number of population and voters in the town, and it is said that it has a high turnout of voter’s rate during elections.
While it is true that joblessness is high, open burning of garbage is rampant and liquor drinking and gambling problems persist, Poblacion East is relatively a good place to live. From easy to tough times, that is social evolution for you. **By Anthony A. Araos

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