The lying is over; the hard work begins
posted 10-Jul-2019  ·  
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Finally, the recently elected local officials from the province down to the 11 municipalities have been sworn in and are now safely ensconced in their executive or legislative chairs.

After all the rigors of the campaign in which most of the candidates lied in the early weeks by signing a covenant against electoral violations, including vote-buying, they ended their obligations under the Omnibus Election Code by again lying when they submitted their Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE).

Of course, lying – promising the heavens to voters, smearing mud on opponents, presenting varnished truth or one’s favorable version of himself - is part of any political campaign. Any election, particularly in the Philippines, would not be interesting in the absence of prevaricating aspirants.

With the start of their respective three-year terms, the lying should now be set aside so that the real work of governing could begin.

Last week, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año directed all elected local officials to participate in the 2019 Program for Newly-Elected Officials (Program for NEOs), a term-based program designed to enhance the competencies of the NEOs as both development and economic managers capable of carrying out their mandated functions towards peaceful, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development.

The first component of the program, ensuring a smooth transition of power and LGU operations, has been completed.

The second, “Jumpstarting Local Governance,” is aimed at providing the foundation that will enable the NEOs to have a deeper understanding of public service and local governance.

The local officials, whether first-timers or reelected, will be oriented on the Philippine governance systems, learn about their duties and functions, and undergo problem-solving and solution-seeking sessions on key governance challenges, as well as a briefer on the Governance Assessment Report that would serve as one of the bases for their agenda.

At the end of the activity, the DILG states, the NEOs shall be expected to produce their respective Executive or Legislative Agenda, including the First 100 Days Agenda of the local chief executive.

It would be crucial for the local government unit that the newly elected officials religiously attend the orientations, as they would have the opportunity to learn first-hand from both known experts and their more seasoned peers through sharing of practical knowledge related to their jobs.

This would allow the NEOs, especially those who promised the voters the moon and the stars, to determine if their promises could be accommodated in their respective agenda, given the framework provided by the Local Government Code on how to run the local government.

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