By Elida Bianca R. Marcial
Angono Public Information Office
August 7, 2017; Monday, 2:10PM

A validator from the Gawad Galing Pook Foundation visited the Angono Public Market last week to vet on the municipality’s successful public market strategies.

Milwilda ‘Nene’ Guevara was welcomed by Angono, Rizal Mayor Gerry Calderon, municipal department heads, and people managing the town’s public market.

Guevarra built a career in public finance and served as undersecretary of the Department of Finance during the administration of Pres. Fidel V. Ramos.

She was the second recipient of the Haydee Yorac Award for Public Service and now serves as president of Synergeia Foundation whose mission is to provide every Filipino child with access to quality basic education.

The foundation hands out the Galing Pook Award, an annual nationwide search for the most outstanding and innovative local governance programs that promote positive results and impact, people’s participation and empowerment, innovation, transferability and sustainability and efficiency of program service delivery in the Philippines.

Galing Pook Foundation’s Board of Trustees is led by former Marikina City Mayor Ma. Lourdes Fernando as chairperson and former Sarangani province Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez as vice-chairperson.

Based on the municipality’s presentation, the edge of Angono Public Market rests on its comprehensive programs and facilities such as Timbangan ng Bayan, Rice Monitoring Board, lactating station for mothers, Solid Waste Management through MRF, and strong people’s participation as it encouraged the establishment of the Angono Public Market Vendors Association.

Records show that the market has been consistently exceeding its annual collection for the past six years, from P2.6M in 1998, to P7.9M in 2008 to P14.4M in 2016 serving as one of the reliable economic enterprises in the municipality.

The Angono Public Market likewise introduced innovations that played important roles in attaining its current state.

These include longer operations of the market, 24/7 security, implementing scheme that made all stallholders secure all the necessary permits from the local government before any operation undertaken, customized debt restructure for arrears and systematic payment scheme of monthly dues, and addressing the long history of religious and cultural differences among stall owners.

Two weeks ago, officials of the same foundation validated the municipality’s other entry in the 2017 Gawad Galing Pook Award titled ‘Zero Squatter Program’ and anti-squatting campaign.

“With the rise of professional squatters in the municipality topped with existence of various professional squatting syndicates pose a great threat to LGU’s Social Services Fund, Peace and Order so in 2012, I introduced the “Zero Squatter Program” which aims to provide security to informal settlers through active campaign.

We created a win-win mechanism to help alleviate the lives of the informal settlers, institutionalize an office that will focus on addressing various needs and enactment of various legislative interventions to support the program,” Mayor Gerry explained during the validation.

Mayor Gerry added: “From being informal settlers, Angono’s marginalized and vulnerable informal sector is now recognized as formal settlers and regular lot buyers. The municipality looks forward to a future that is free from professional squatter and squatting syndicate.” (With reports from Richard R. Gappi)