POSSIBILITIES abound under the leadership of presidential aspirant Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson including having more inclusive and responsive governments both on the national and local levels through innovative public service programs.
Lacson expressed these thoughts in a recent media forum where he shared the stories of some local government units (LGU) that he visited while campaigning over the past few months. He said he admired some of their programs and wanted to scale them up on a national level.
The veteran statesman noted as an example the ‘People’s Day’ initiative of Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano in which the LGU officials are the ones going down to the people to receive their concerns and gather information as regards their immediate needs and priorities.
“At least once a month, sila ‘yung nagpupunta sa mga barangay, kasama lahat ‘yung national agencies… ‘Yung mga tao pinupuntahan ng mga national agencies para mag-cater sa mga kailangan nila; nag-re-render ng service. Sabi ko, this is a very good public service na pwedeng gawin din on a national level,” said Lacson at ‘Kapihan ng Samahang Plaridel’ forum last Monday (April 11).
Lacson and his running mate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III have already been adopting a similar approach through their town hall meetings where they engage the electorate in dialogues to get their thoughts about particular areas of governance that they want their leaders to improve.
Both senators said their legislative staff members often travel with them during their campaign sorties to help them address questions from the public concerning benefits from duly approved public service programs that did not reach them.
Case in point was the chaotic rollout of the social amelioration packages and subsidies in some LGUs under the Bayanihan Laws. Lacson and Sotto pushed for these laws during the height of pandemic-induced lockdowns that unfortunately missed some of the intended recipients.
“Pagdating sa executive department, the problem is‘yung mga ginawa naming mga batas… lalagyan ng implementing rules and regulations na iba na sa that are different from the spirit ng of the law. Kaya sabi nga namin, the ones who crafted the laws will be the best executives,” Sotto said.
While going around the country, Lacson and Sotto also found out there are LGUs that were able to make public transportation franchise and vehicle registration fees free of charge to some tricycle drivers and operators.
Because of these good programs, Lacson said he is more motivated to implement his Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) policy, which is designed to help more LGUs serve their constituents better through the equitable distribution of public funds.
Lacson sees BRAVE as the fundamental and comprehensive solution against persistent problems of underdevelopment in some LGUs nationwide, especially the far-flung and isolated communities in the countryside that are rarely visited by members of the national government.