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Gov’t holds virtual town hall meetings

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will launch a series of virtual town hall meetings in the region to build mutual trust between the government and the people.

Marlon Loterte, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Bicol regional director, in an interview on Monday,Oct. 19, said the first session of the Dagyaw 2020: Virtual Town Hall Sessions will be on Oct. 21 9:30 AM to 12 PM with the topic “Usapang Edukasyon: Mga Hamon at Pagbangon sa Panahon ng Pandemya”.

Loterte said the topic will provide the audience with updates on government policies in the opening of classes and the challenges faced both by the education sector, the learners, and their parents.

He said the meetings would provide an open, neutral, and protected space for dialogue on key national and local issues and plans amidst the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Dagyaw 2020 aims to conduct a more transparent and inclusive town hall meetings through close collaboration with non-government sectors. To serve as a safe space for dialogues on pressing governance and operational issues at the national and local level, and sustain the promotion of citizen participation in governance, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, through the facilitation of enriching digital conversations between the people and the government,” Loterte said.

He said that 500 slots for the virtual meeting on Oct. 21 are expected to be filled up.

Loterte said that non-government co-conveners Coalition for Bicol Development (CBD) and Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), the DILG, DBM, PIA, and PCOO as the Regional Technical Working Group (RTWG) came up with the Dagyaw People’s Agenda— a list of three topics that will serve as the main point of conversation for each of the three Dagyaw episodes at the regional level.

“The final list of topics went through a transparent and well-documented process where it was vetted by various non-government coalitions to uphold inclusion and political efficacy and co-governance. At the regional level, three sessions will be conducted on Oct. 21, Nov. 11 and 25, 2020,” he said.

Loterte said the two episodes lined up for November will highlight agriculture and jobs.

Expected speakers on Oct. 21 are: Francis Bulalacao Jr., chief of the Curriculum and Learning Management Division (CLMD), Department of Education-Bicol; Dr. Charlito P. Cadag; president, Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges; Lorina Aquino, chief of party, ABC+ The Asia Foundation; and Tabaco City Mayor Cielo Crisel Lagman-Luistro. (PNA)

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