top of page

The LGU Goa’s TUCAD program: “We rise as we lift others”

By Sonny Malate

2022 will be a remarkable year for the municipality of Goa in the province of Camarines Sur because it is the year the town was conferred with its fourth recognition as one of the Galing Pook champs of the government’s reputable award-giving body.

GALING POOK President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Mayor Marcel S. Pan in a huddle during the awards night. With them are Galing Pook officials, Senate President Miguel Zubiri, and DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos at the Malacañang Palace last November 22, this year. Also in photo: Ruby Roa Precilla Pan, and Councilor Marcel Michael P. Pan.

TUCAD bringing a message of hope to indigent communities.

Now on its 29th year, the Galing Pook Awards continues to search and recognize innovative practices by local government units that elicit positive results and impact, promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, innovation, transferability, sustainability, and efficiency of program service delivery.

Goa’s TUCAD program was one of this year’s entries presented by different LGUs across the country which the Galing Pook Awards placed under a multilevel rigorous screening process and from which it has chosen the Ten Outstanding Local Governance Programs.

TUCAD, the contraction of Trekking to Unlock Community Ailments and Difficulties, is an innovation that brought inspiration and encouragement to the government’s servant leaders in Goa spearheaded by Mayor Marcel S. Pan. It serves as a tool to further strengthen the delivery of services and ensures that such services are reaching even the remotest sitios of this idyllic town.

TUCAD was institutionalized by Municipal Ordinance No. 278, series of 2020. Aside from bettering the services of the government in the hinterlands, the program also aims to identify the significant problems and difficulties confronting the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities to immediately provide them with the necessary interventions.

With TUCAD, gone are the days when faraway communities suffer inadequacies in terms of basic services received from the government due to their remoteness to the town’s major residential districts.

Mayor Pan’s dream for such communities is to decimate the cases of malnutrition among the children, provide the families with decent houses thru an effective socialized housing program, energized sitios, and provide a more visible means of income for every household to sustain its basic needs.

Thru the TUCAD program the LGU has set policies, organized management composition, and systematized trekking protocols. It also look for other sources of funds to augment its budget for the program that needs to be sustained to effectively address the concerns on potable water, electricity, education, health and sanitation, agriculture, environment, poverty, disaster risk reduction, peace and order, and the updating of the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) data.

A team of workers from the municipal government trekked to highland areas and set foot on distant sitios identified with high poverty incidence, poor road conditions, high incidence of school dropouts and malnutrition, and residents suffering from inadequate health care services. The team conducts its countryside visit every Friday.

It was on February 15, 2020, before the onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic, that the LGU Goa operated its first TUCAD mission.

TUCAD PILLARS: Mayor Pan and Municipal Engineer Ronnie Alarcon.

The first recipients of services given thru the TUCAD program in Sitio Maysua in Barangay Lamon and Sitio Ibahoy in Barangay Salog were teary-eyed upon seeing the team of government workers led by Pan doing consultations with the members of the entire community about their immediate needs while the others were conducting inspections for the putting up of the needed facilities.

“The simple visit by our municipal officials and employees asking us what services we need comes as a big thing for us because it makes our morale high,” says a female resident in one of the sitios visited by the mayor and his team.

For Francisco Del Castillo of Sitio Maysua, the launching of the program conducted in his barangay was an unforgettable moment. Under the program, Francisco and his family members were the first to receive a house, a carabao, kitchen utensils and beddings.

The day was a bright one, too, for the members of Vivo family of Sitio Ibahoy. The Vivos received solar lights, utensils and scholarship grants for the children.

Innovations and projects also implemented through the TUCAD programm are E-Sitio, Maleta Library, Sitio Governance and Riverine Project.

The pandemic does not hinder the team from visiting the town’s outlying sitios. It continues to bring good tidings to poor communities with Pan leading the way along with the members of the Sangguniang Bayan, department heads, and representatives from the national government agencies. It is joined also by a number of volunteers and barangay officials.

The team members identify community problems and concerns and conduct deliberations to resolve the problems encountered. Residents were given ample time to bring to the attention of the team the things they want to be acted upon by the LGU.

As of now, the team has already registered engagements with residents in 74 sitios of 34 barangays. In the course of these visits, necessary interventions were promptly made to the great benefit of the residents in sitios which include the initiatives done on housing, solar lights, solar-operated water supply, health sustaining programs, tree planting and other environment sustaining activities, livelihood and infrastructure projects and scholarship grants and many more that have impacted and made a difference to the life of marginal residents.

But more than those achievements, Mayor Pan acknowledges what TUCAD has done to the governance of the municipality. The good mayor said that it has revolutionized and improved the delivery of basic services in the municipality of Goa. In effect, the spirit of Bottoms Up budgeting is achieved. More importantly, the taxes paid are well spent to the actual needs of the residents and not on what the government officials’ desire.

The mayor said: “One lasting result of TUCAD is the awakening of social consciousness in various sectors, including the youths. The presence of government officials bring a message of hope to barangay residents. Although all their needs are not answered, they feel the joy of knowing that they are not forgotten, that they are important. It is called the Ministry of Presence. TUCAD makes the people feel that the government cares for them!”


bottom of page