Celebrating People Empowerment in Naga City

November 29, 2018

 

 

By James D. Jacob

Former Congressman, 2nd District, Camarines Sur

 

Editor’s Note: Following is the Solidarity Message by former Camarines Sur 2nd District (now 3rd District) Congressman James Jacob during the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the trailblazing Naga City People’s Council (NCPC) last November 25, 2018 at the Rose Hall of Robertson Hotel, J. Miranda Avenue, Naga City. VP Leni Robredo was the guest of honor and speaker.

 

SIGURO mangalas kamo kung pa’no ko naisurat an mensaheng ini asin naipaabot sa tamang oras sa paagi ni Joe Perez, an sakuyang dating chief of staff sa Kongreso. Sabihon ta na sanang bago kong sekreto ‘yan. An importante iyo na maipaabot ko an sakuyang pakikisumaro sa significanteng okasyon na ini.

 

Dios marhay na hapon po ki NCPC chairperson Danny Ludovice, ki NCPC Executive Director Dada de la Rosa, ki Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, Ki Mayor John Bongat, Ki Congressman Gabby Bordado, sa gabos na mga opisyales kan ciudad asin kan NCPC, mga PO, NGO, mga man-iba-ibang grupo, sector, asin organisasyon na yaon nakikisumaro satuya ngonian.

 

Marhay na hapon man ki Bise Presidente Leni Robredo, an agom kan sakuyang amigo asin idolong si Jesse Robredo.

 

Duwang dekada na palan an Naga City People’s Council asin kun dae ako napapasala 23ng taon na puon kan ipasar niamo sa Sanggguniang Panglunsod ang “Empowerment Ordinance” na bistado man bilang Naga City Ordinance Numerado 95-092.

 

Bako sana po ako an ama, so to speak, kan konseptong ini. This is a collegial work that started with the various organizations and sectors in the city and transformed into a legal document or legislative measure within the bureaucratic framework of the city council in particular, and the city government, as represented by the city mayor, in general.

 

Sa sakuyang paghiling, katakod po ini kan historya kan Naga asin kan Nagueno asin padagos na nag-mamature bilang parte kan social, political asin historical narrative kan syudad sa halawig pang panahon.

 

Susog sa naisurat ko bilang Explanatory Statement kan sinambit nang Ordinance, nagbutwa ang ideyang ini sa pagtanaw na ang EDSA revolution kan panahon na idto dae nagin kumpleto. An EDSA nagin sarong “unfinished revolution” nin huli ta an binabanderang People’s Power dae nanggad naipatindog bilang  institusyon na kuta na maribay sa indirect o representative democracy -- na sa halawig na panahon nakakaputan kan elite o magkapira sana -- para ma-balanse, makorehiran, asin mapakarhay an pagpadalagan kan tunay na esensya kan demokrasya kun saen an kadaklan, an masa o an middle class magkaigwa  nin direkta, mahiwas,  asin patas na boses o partisipasyon sa gobyerno lokal.

 

Kan pigtukdas niato an koseptong ini, nag-huna an gabos na ini sarong suntok sa bulan. Iyo, inako ko na dae magigin facil an satuyang lalakawon sa magapong dalan. But I remained optimistic. And I wrote: “Empowerment, however, is not an impossible dream. Powerless as we Naguenos are at the moment to persuade the rest of the country to share our dream, we are nevertheless free to realize the same in Naga. Then we can let the nation learn from us.”

 

Makalihis an tulong taon matapos na maipasar an Empowerment Ordinance, kita naka-pundar nin estraktura na magiya nin aktibong partnership sa tahaw kan local na gobyerno kan syudad asin kan kagabsan na Nagueno sa pagbilog, pag-implementar, pag-adal asin pag-ebalwar kan mga polisiya, proyekto asin aktibidades kan syudad.

 

Maogmang maaraman na magkapira nang syudad asin local government units an nagkopya asin nagsubli kan satuyang ideya manongod sa people empowerment asin people’s council. Nagirumduman ko lugod na naging mainit so debate antes naipasar an Empowerment Ordinance, sagkod na ako nag-banta na ma-resign bilang consehal kun an proponidong ordinansang ini dae nanggad maipasar nin huli sa sabi-sabi na an ideya masyadong radikal, leftist, o makawala.

 

Ngonian, igua na kita nin poco mas o menos universal definition kan “empowerment.” And it says: The term empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people and in communities in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority. It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. Empowerment as action refers both to the process of self-empowerment and to professional support of people, which enables them to overcome their sense of powerlessness and lack of influence, and to recognize and use their resources. It means to do work with power.” And as Jesse [Robedo] had it: “Putting power in the hands of the people.”

 

Dae ta aram kun saen mismo an ideya kan empowerment nagpoon. May nagsabi na ini nagkua nin inspirasyon sa Marxist sociological theory o sa American community psychology. Sa Pilipinas, an EDSA nagkurahaw asin nagpa-abot nin aktwal na mensahe hale mismo sa kusog kan tawo. Naisikwal niato an diktadurya na mayong violencia asin madugong pag-alsa.

 

But in this little corner called Naga, an pagpahale kan diktadurya bako an sopas kan EDSA. Pakatapos kan EDSA, an hapot: Ano na?

 

Dae ta pinalampas an nagbabadyang pagkakataon. Kita nagturukaw, nag-urulay asin nagprobar nin progresibong experiment. Naghanap kita nin bagong dalan manongod sa epektibo asin inklusibong pagpadalagan kan lokal na gobyerno,  laen kan natudan na kan mga tradisyonal na politiko.  Thus, namundag sa Naga an Empowerment Ordinance, and as a consequence, an Naga City People’s Council.

 

Alagad pakilihis nin 20ng taon, kita may mga gigibohon pa:

 

Mahiwas pang edukasyon sa mga tawo an ibabariwas ta. People can only become more assertive and effective as participants when they are aware of their rights.

 

Asin sinserong pag-gogobyerno an ipapahiling asin gigibohon ta, orog na idtong sa lado kan mga nasa poder asin byurukrasya.

 

Mayong duda, kadakul pang laban an aagihan ta.

 

In particular, three more things are needed to be done under the mandate and intent of the Empowerment Ordinance:

 

Full implementation of RA 7160 (Local Government Code) provision on sectoral representation, and;

 

Hastening the organization of the people directly through the joint efforts of the Naga City People’s Council and the Naga City Government to address the people’s sectoral and their collective concerns with minimal government intervention;

 

Gain full independence by not relying on economic and financial appropriation by the city government for the NCPC’s and other People’s and Non-Government Organizations’ existence and operations.

 

Dae ko tataposon an mensaheng ini without pausing for a moment para tawan nin pagpapasalamat asin honra an mga tawong sa pagpoon pa sana kan konsepto kairibahan asin kadamay ko na.

 

Kaibahan ko sinda sa pagmando asin pag-dangog kan tingog kan panahon, pag reparo, pagsaysay asin pagmato kan mga kinakaipuhan bako sana kan syudad kundi, with humility aside, pati na kan nasyon.

 

Sinda iyo an mga minasunod: Atty. Soliman Santos na ngonian saro nang Juez, an mga progresibong mag-tanaw asin mag-isip na sinda Jo Vicente, France Clavecillas, Salve Cadag, Honesto o Tio Oning Perez, dating urban poor federation president na tiyoon ni Joe Perez na nagpa-aram na sa kinaban, asin man an depuntong si Abogado Rene Raneses, to name a few.

 

Dios mabalos, marhay na aldaw liwat asin mabuhay po kita gabos!

 

Happy 20th anniversary!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload