By By Fernan A. Gianan
LGUs required to hold town hall meetings
posted 26 days ago  ·  
288 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

Less than a month before the May 13, 2019 national and local elections, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Memorandum Circular No. 2019-56 on the conduct of quarterly town hall meetings in all local government units.

Secretary Eduardo Año, in issuing the circular, cited as basis Article III, Section 7 of the Philippine Constitution that upholds the right of the people to information on matters of public concerns.

He added that the Philippines has committed to make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable by promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance.

The DILG, through various policies such as the Full Disclosure Policy, has been continually upholding the value of open governance through transparency and full disclosure among LGUs, Año stated,

Thus, he declared, all LGUs are enjoined to conduct town hall meetings every quarter, to serve as a platform in informing citizens of the state of local governance in their respective LGUs.

“It shall also serve as a venue for public consultation where citizens and other stakeholders can voice out their opinions, suggest actions, and provide feedback, for the LGU’s consideration, to improve service delivery,” the directive stressed.

The DILG, however, did not detail how the town hall meetings would be conducted or the guidelines that would govern their conduct.

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It would be best to hold such a meeting in the barangay plaza or town plaza so as to accommodate almost everyone.

Since town hall meetings are supposed to inform the citizenry, then the audience will have to come from a wide assortment of people to achieve its goal.

The problem with inviting everyone, especially to a new administration still feeling its way after a bitter campaign, is that it would attract persons from the opposite camp who would be more than willing to argue with their new leaders.

Of course, as one lecturer in the recent Bible Translation Workshop pointed out, gatherings like these pull in a number of people with PhDs, or in the Tagalog vernacular, “Palaging Hanap Debate.”

It would be interesting to find out how the new chief executives, particularly those who are neophytes in local governance, would react to people criticizing their tentative moves or even questioning their fitness for the post.

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Even reelectionist Gov. Joseph Cua is mystified by the recent decision of the Philippine Airlines to cease operating its Clark-Virac flights effective June 17, 2019, with its last flight to leave the capital town’s airport this Friday.

He said that when the airline resumed operation in Virac after several years, his administration petitioned PAL management to shift its Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule to the days in between the flights of rival airline Cebu Pacific. PAL management took no action and stayed with the original schedule.

To its credit, the Clark-Virac flights improved as far as the number of passengers were concerned. Early on, it flew from Clark regardless of how many passengers showed up, including one flight where there was exactly one passenger in the 86-seat turboprop plane.

Last May 31, we counted 64 passengers for the Virac-Clark flight, meaning the flight schedule was earning a tidy profit for PAL, regardless of its sharing the same morning with its rival.

So, outside the possibility that it has something to do with the sorry loss of Cong. Cesar Sarmiento in the last elections, why would the airline management suddenly cease running a profitable route?

Perhaps somebody should find out..

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THE SON’S AMBITION. Two dads were talking about their respective sons and what they want to be in the future.

“Does your son know what he wants to be when he grows up?” one asked his friend.

“He wants to be a garbageman,” he replied.

“That’s an unusual ambition to have at such a young age.”

“Not really. He thinks that garbagemen work only on Tuesdays.”


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