By Elida Bianca Marcial and Richard R. Gappi

Novotel, Cubao, Quezon City — Angono, Rizal Mayor Gerry Calderon this Wednesday morning, October 11, 2017 answered confidently the queries which the judges of Galing Pook Awards 2017 asked from him as regards the entry of the municipality titled “Participatory and Systemic Governance for Socio-Economic Development.”

The panel presentation and interview was held at Monet 2 Ballroom Novotel Manila, Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, where other finalists from different parts of the country were invited to present and impress the jurors in the final judging.

Mayor Gerry noted that what used to be a liability before, Angono’s public market has been transformed into a competitive People’s Market comparable to commercial supermarkets in the area.

“The implementation of the Amended Market Code of Angono Rizal helped turn the public market into a reliable economic enterprise of the local government,” Mayor Gerry said.

The local chief executive of Angono further explained that the low collection efficiency rate of the public market was addressed by adopting a new payment and debt restructuring scheme crafted and agreed upon by the LGU and stall owners.

As a result, this system achieved a high collection efficiency rate from P7.9 million in 2008 to P14.4 million in 2016.

“Although the public market could sustain its operations due to its improved collection rate, Sangguniang Bayan Ordinance No. 746 (2016) was enacted to sustain the operations of the public market through an annual budget allocation, if needed,” Mayor Gerry said.

In connection with Angono’s Zero Basura program, Mayor Gerry highlighted the implementation of the Solid Waste Management system in the public market through the construction of its own Materials Recovery Facilities.

“Through this initiative, the Angono Public Market was recognized as the “2nd Healthiest Public Market in the Province of Rizal” from 1999 to 2002 and the “Healthiest Public Market in the Province of Rizal” in 2003 to 2005,” Mayor Gerry said.

To address the needs of its informal settlers, meanwhile, Mayor Gerry noted, Angono introduced the Zero Squatter program that assisted 10 046 informal settler families (ISF). He cited the effective and functional Urban Settlement Development Office (USDO), created through EO 2010-11 and SB Resolution 12-125, which served as the coordinating unit between the government, private owners, and the informal settlers that made possible the timely government response to the people’s needs.

Mayor Gerry concluded that the program strengthened community-based organizations and associations of resettled individuals by allowing them to organize themselves and plan their communities.

“Appropriate representation in the local Housing Board, and the Local Committee against Squatting Syndicates and Professional Squatters were allocated to 75 organized groups. Women’s groups were also organized to improve skills as well as access to livelihood and basic services,” the mayor noted.

The judges, who came from the academe and respected institutions, include Edna Co, Elisea Gozun, Leonardo Montemayor, Edicio Dela Torre, Elmer Soriano Miguel Rene Dominguez, Emma Porio, Milwida Guevara, Victor Bulatao,

Ma. Nieves Confesor, Rafael Coscolluela, Galing Pook Chairperson National Selection Committee Marivel Sacendoncillo, Executive Director LGA Jaime Galvez Tan, Gene David of the Land Bank of the Phils, Victor Ramos and Li-Ann de Leon.

Other officials of the foundation namely Chairperson Lourdes Fernando, DILG undersecretary for government Austere Panadero, and Emellie Tamayo, vice-president of Lending Programs Management Group of Land Bank of the Philippines were also present.

Galing Pook Awards 2017 applications were screened by a 19-member National Selection Committee coming from different fields of expertise and experience.

Of the 158 applicants, 44 passed the site validation stage and 20 were chosen as finalists, from which 10 will be selected as this year’s batch of winners.

The innovative and best practice programs will be judged base on promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, 30%; positive results and impact, 30%; transferability and sustainability, 15%; innovation, 15%; and efficiency of program service delivery, 10%.

Apart from Mayor Gerry, other local officials from various towns and cities were invited as finalists.

These include Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City; Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario of Davao del Norte; Mayor Ronnel Rivera of General Santos City; Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. of Iloilo; Mayor Rosita Furigay of Lamitan City, Basilan;

Mayor John Bongat of Naga City; Mayor Ramon Oñate of Palompon, Leyte; Mayor Leonila Montero of Panglao, Bohol; Mayor Robert Eusebio of Pasig City; Mayor Necitas Cubrado of Pilar, Bohol;

Mayor Carolyn Senador-Fariñas of San Felipe, Zambales; Mayor Ninfa Garin of San Joaquin, Iloilo; Mayor Mariano Tangson of San Luis, Aurora; Mayor Alfredo Valdez, Jr. of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte; Mayor Allan Rellon of Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Mayor Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela City; and Mayor Juan Carlo Medina of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.