As we aim to make the best better, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga has endeavoured to continually improve its programs. Thus, the Empowerment aNd Advancement of Barangays in Local LEgislation (ENABL2E) Program, instituted in 2014 through Ordinance No. 2014-008, has undergone revision to expand its scope to include the reformed Sangguniang Kabataan, as well as to further professionalize the Sangguniang Barangays by establishing more avenues for recognition of their accomplishments.

The Revised ENABL2E Ordinance, catalogued as Ordinance No. 2018-029 and introduced by yours truly, with the sponsorship of Councilors Elmer Baldemoro and Vidal Castillo as well as former Councilor and Liga President Tomas Ramon Sanchez Jr., was presented to all Sangguniang Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials last 3 August 2018 at The Tent, Avenue Hotel, Naga City. Launching of the Revised ENABL2E was culminated by the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the Sangguniang Panlungsod, thru this representation, and the Liga ng mga Barangay, thru newly-elected Liga President Antonio “Dodit” Beltran, the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation, thru SKF President Kylie Tripulca, as well as the Kapisanan ng mga Sangguniang Barangay Kagawad, thru its president, Kagawad Maria Crestina Mendoza. Mayor John Bongat and DILG-Naga Director Elmer Penolio were key witnesses to the MOA Signing, along with the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod members who signified their all-out support to the program. The Outstanding Sangguniang Barangay Awards Committee, comprised of Jesse Robredo Good Governance Center Director Renne Gumba, Dean Kenjie Jimenea of University of Nueva Caceres, SP Secretary Gil Dela Torre, and Bicol Mail Editor Jose Perez, was also present in the event.

A week after the Launching, the Sangguniang Panlungsod immediately proceeded to business of bringing down our good governance practices to the grass-root level via the conduct of the Conference on Barangay Legislation. This whole-day seminar seeks to enhance the skills, competencies and knowledge of Sangguniang Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials on local legislation. It also serves as a venue for city officials to share their first-hand experience on crafting responsive and sound legislative measures, as well as on promoting transparency, accountability and people-participation in policy- and decision-making processes of the government. There are also discussions on the various programs and policies of the city government for possible adoption of the barangays and for synchronization of local initiatives, thus, ensuring, at the long-run, the city’s sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.

The 27 Sangguniang Barangay were divided into two clusters for the Conference on Barangay Legislation. Cluster I, which attended the conference last 10 August 2018, includes Barangays Abella, Bagumbayan Norte, Bagumbayan Sur, Calauag, Dinaga, Igualdad, Lerma, Mabolo, Sabang, San Francisco, Sta. Cruz , Tabuco, Tinago and Triangulo. The seminar for Cluster II was held on 11 August 2018, with Barangays Balatas, Cararayan, Carolina, Concepcion Grande, Concepcion Pequeňa, Dayangdang, Del Rosario, Liboton, Pacol, Panicuason, Peňafrancia, San Felipe and San Isidro in attendance.

For the Sangguniang Kabataan, they were also divided into two clusters. Conference for the first batch was already organized last Sunday (12 August 2018). For the last batch, they will be attending the training scheduled on 19 August 2018.

Capacity-building will not end, however, on participation in the abovementioned Conference on Barangay Legislation. The Sangguniang Panlungsod will be inviting them to sit down in our regular session and observe first-hand the processes of legislation and parliamentary procedure. Aside from this, this representation is drafting a book that will serve as a guide for our local legislators in the basic political unit of our government. Once finished, the manuscript will be printed and distributed to all SB and SK officials.

Equitable development starts at the grass-root level. Thus, we should never be complacent in our drive to capacitate and uplift the level of governance in barangays. Indeed, the success of the ENABL2E Program will be beneficial to the city and to its barangays as this will definitely result to a more proficient, more proactive and more empowered barangay officials and Sangguniang Kabataan officers who are well-aware of the legislative processes of the government and of their functions, duties and responsibilities as local legislators, as well as more transparent and more responsive in our campaign towards sustainable and inclusive development. This is also a means to build stronger relationship between and among the officials of the city government and of the 27 barangay governments of Naga.

Tarabang po kita sa pag-papusog kan pag-governar sa barangay para mas mapamarhay asin mas mapauswag pa lalo an satuyang Maogmang Lugar!