Saturday, November 11, 2017

SN is in top 10 Galing Pook awardee

SAN NICOLAS Mayor Alfredo Valdez Jr. (5th from right) poses with the other LGU chief executives as one of the top ten Galing Pook Awardee (Photo Courtesy of SN Municipality.)

By Dominic B. dela Cruz

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—The municipal government here barged into the top 10 local government units recognized as Galing Pook awardee in the entire country.
In the awarding ceremony held October 12, 2017 in Manila, San Nicolas mayor Alfredo “Boying” P. Valdez Jr. thanked all the people behind the prestigious award in their contributions to innovate practices in local governance of the municipality.
The San Nicolas entry “Catching Rain” seeks to adopt viable and responsive measures to shifting weather patterns brought about by climate change through safe, indigenous and environment friendly means.
Mr. Valdez said that without a natural body of water to irrigate its agricultural lands, this municipality found its solution in an indigenous technique by way of “catching the rain”.
One of the project’s strategies the mayor said is to expand and maximize the construction of earth dams, water reservoirs and irrigation systems since the municipality already has two earth dams or Small Water Impounding Projects (SWIP) established in 1998 and 2000.
To date mayor said that the municipality has seven SWIPs, one in an on-going construction and three more funded for future implementation, 56 small farm reservoirs, 227 shallow tube wells, seven creeks, two (2) diversion dams, and one completed catchment dam devoted for agricultural production.
Study shows that SWIPs, water reservoirs and irrigation systems prevent siltation and soil erosion. It also serves as recreational areas and tourist spots when migratory birds flocks.
The program also improved agricultural literacy of its farmers and other beneficiaries with the establishment of 24 community learning centers in the all the barangays and eight farmer field schools.
To sustain the project the mayor said that they passed various legislations such as an ordinance “Prescribing the Utilization and Sustainability of Irrigation Waters and Conservation of Irrigation Facilities and Services (PUSWAC)” to integrate program in the municipal plans.
The Sanggunian Bayan also authorized the mayor to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the different institutions to further strengthen and improve the project implementation.
It was learned that six of the 10 Galing Pook Foundation awardees came from Luzon: Angono in Rizal—“Participatory and Systemic Governance for Socio-economic Development; Pasig City— “Bayanihan sa Daan” Sustainable Transport Program; San Felipe, Zambales—"Monthly Search for Galing Barangay and Galing Purok; San Luis, Aurora—“Luntiang Pamayanan ng San Luis; San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—“Catching Rain; and Valenzuela City— “Disiplina Village.
Palompon, Leyte for their “Integrated Community-Based Eco-Tourism and Coastal Resource Management” was the lone awardee in the Visayas Region.
While Cagayan de Oro City’s “Rising Up from the Mud”; Davao del Norte’s “Community-Based Road Maintenance Contracting”; and General Santos City’s “Lingap sa Kabataang Ayaw sa Droga (LIKAY DROGA)” were the awardees from Mindanao.
All finalists received plaques from the foundation, while each winning LGU received a PHP100,000-check and Galing Pook marker.
Mr. Valdez said that he will still be conducting a meeting with the municipal officials and heads of offices on where to put the cash prize. 
Launched in 1993, the Galing Pook Foundation’s awards has already recognized hundreds of LGU programs that serve as models of good governance for other communities to adopt. These programs serve as examples of how to provide innovative solutions to common problems.
The group evaluated winning programs based on "positive results and impact, promotion of people's participation and empowerment, innovation, transferability and sustainability, and efficiency of program service delivery."

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