Leni to keynote NCPC’s 20th year

By Jose B. Perez

Editor on Leave

NAGA CITY --- Vice President Leni Robredo will keynote the 20th anniversary program of the Naga City People’s Council on Sunday, November 25, at the Queen Rose Hall of Robertson Hotel, along J. Miranda Avenue, this city.

The Vice President will be introduced by Danilo Ludovice, NCPC chairperson.

The Naga City People’s Council, whose promotion of people empowerment flourished during the term of the late City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, has for two decades now partnered and forged collaboration with various civil society organizations in strengthening the values of participation, cooperation and self-reliance in community service and governance.

Also to give their solidarity messages in the afternoon program are Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, Mayor John Bongat, Congressman Gabby Bordado, and former Congressman James Jacob.

Jacob, while then a member of the Sangguniang Panglunsod as city councilor, authored City Ordinance No. 95-092, otherwise known as “The Empowerment Ordinance” that gave birth to the establishment and institutionalization of the Naga City People’s Council, the first of its kind in the country that has been lauded as a bold attempt to put power into the hands of the people, particularly in field of local governance and the management of community affairs.

In the book “People’s Council” that he authored, Soliman M. Santos, Jr. -- then executive director of the Institute of Politics and Governance (he is now an RTC Judge in Camarines Sur) -- noted the presence of an active and vibrant NGO-PO community in Naga which he said is characteristically pluralist. He wrote: “It was the Naga City NGO-PO Council of the early 90s which held quiet discussions with Mayor Robredo, Kag. Jacob and other progressive kagawads to conceptualize the “Empowerment Ordinance” creating the NCPC to maximize the historical moment and the LGC [Local Government Code]-inspired momentum for people’s participation in local governance [following the triumph of the People Power Revolution that ended Martial Law].”

Under Jacob’s empowerment ordinance, representatives of the People’s Council (NCPC) are given chance to observe, vote and participate in the deliberation, conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of projects, activities, and programs of the City Government. They are also allowed to propose legislations and participate and vote at the committee level of the Sangguniang Panglunsod, and/or act as the people’s representatives in the exercise of their constitutional rights to information or matters of public concern and of access to official records and documents.

The first part of the anniversary celebration which will be conducted starting at 11:00 o’clock in the morning of Nov. 25 will be the UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] Fiscal Wastage Caravan for South Luzon.

NCPC Vice Chair for Internal Engr. Jovencio Claveria will welcome the participants while Edward Gacusana, UNDP DepEd OIC Project Manager will give the overview of the caravan.

In the afternoon, at 1:00 p.m. will be the UNDP program proper that will include the presentation of updates and accomplishments of DSS K to 12 Project and the presentation of UNDP Fiscal Wastage Study. An open forum will follow.