Initiating A System For Partnership In Local Governance Between The City Government And The People Of Naga
The City of Naga embodies a government that champions citizen empowerment and participatory governance. Since its implementation, the ordinance creating a system for a partnership of the City Government and its constituents became a model local government for the generations to come. The late Mayor of Naga, Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, put forth his vision of a more empowered citizenry and one who gives great weight to its people's opinions in public matters. Truly, the values of the legislator can also be mirrored on his or her authored ordinances. Matino at mahusay, indeed.
Its pre-implementation history is not new to many. When Robredo was newly elected, aside from government corruption, he also faced public skepticism towards his administration's capacity. Furthermore, there exist communication gaps between the residents and the administration; bridging this is the birth of the Naga City People's Council ordinance. It gave an avenue for Nagueños to be part of the whole process of crafting policies that are catered for them; from its deliberation, conceptualization, implementation, to the evaluation of the policy, the people are present.
Besides, the Naga City People's Council, the organization that will fulfill the vision of the ordinance, worked doubly hard to prepare both the government and the people to be ready for partnership. As with all policies, it also faced challenges and criticisms. Citing a report of the United Nations (2016) entitled, "Expanding and Fortifying Local Democracy through the People's Council in the Philippines", there was resistance from local government councils, from the city level to the barangays, in accepting the People's Council as an official partner in local governance.
Amidst all these, the ordinance continues to be an inspiration to different local government units for replication. With people's participation as the unparalleled manifestation of democracy, this 26-year-old ordinance will remain both a legacy and an inspiration for legislators to replicate in their cities and municipalities.
Towards the end, this ordinance is another proof of how legislation yields vast opportunities and lasting change across different generations. Ultimately, exemplary legislations have the power to inspire other legislators to replicate the ordinance in their locality, allowing the vision of one legislator to be extended across municipalities and cities. Our late Mayor Jesse Robredo may be gone, but this particular piece of legislation will be carried on and will continue to benefit many.