Koronadal City—In its bid to be more open and transparent, the Provincial Government of South Cotabato will use a citizen participation approach to give opportunities and widen the reach of its local governance through a town hall meeting with the barangay officials to discuss pressing issues at the grassroots level.
A town hall meeting is underway in September, as part of the 3rd Integrity Week Celebration. This is the local version of “Dagyaw” Open Government and Participatory Governance regional town hall meeting conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government in the region last month.
Topics include the understanding of the free hospitalization program and the importance of tax collection in the barangays of South Cotabato.
In an earlier pronouncement, Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. is open to improve the relationship between citizens and the provincial government, making governance more participative and inclusive.
“This is transparency. This is open government,” the governor said.
Haidee Temploneuvo, Provincial Infomation Officer-In-Charge, said the town hall meeting is a timely and relevant communication strategy to “talk, listen, and discuss with our people about the pressing issues.”
Though social media is the “in thing” medium of communication these days, the Provincial Government understands the importance of a participative forum in addressing core issues, Templonuevo explained.
South Cotabato is a landlocked province. The latest survey of the Provincial Information Division said the majority of the barangay people trusted Barangay officials as a reliable source of information about the programs and projects of the Provincial Government.
“Dagyaw” is a Hiligaynon word for “bayanihan,” which exemplifies the concept of “togetherness.”
The regional town hall meetings started in six regions in the country last year. However, as the Philippine Government commits to open government, DILG, Department of Budget and Management, and the Presidential Communications Operations Office are bringing the citizen forum to 16 regions this 2019.