Government moves (just now?)!

Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, Sept. 11 (PIA) – Over 500 barangay residents from 10 barangays identified as insurgency-conflict areas in Guihulngan City together with officials from different national and local government agencies participated in ‘Dagyawan sa Barangay: Talakayan para sa Mamamayan’ held yesterday in Guihulngan City Gymnasium.

Better late than never. Negros Oriental, as a showcase province, the first in the country for this initiative, conducted the “Dagyawan sa Barangay” that intends to hear the issues from the grassroots and directly address it or recommend actions to improve the delivery of basic services.

Why did it have to resort to killings of discontent when all the while Government was supposed to be around? Or was it around? Now it is. Question: how long, how often, how much will it cost, and will this Dagyawan be sustained after all the killings?

These are the questions asked by citizens, who with government do not yet have the answers, but only with noble intentions, projections, and aspirations. What is lacking is reality of results. We wish government will tell the people the RESULTS of Dagyawan. And do it more often and year round, like what the NPAs are doing all year round but on a limited scale because they have to raise their own resources, unlike government which is well-funded.

Governor Degamo said that the common issues raised during the dialogue include infrastructures or farm-to-market roads, potable water, electricity, peace and order or insurgency among others.

These concerns were raised by residents of barangays Tacpao, Trinidad, Binobohan, Sandajao, Humay-humay, Planas, Hinakpan, Malusay, Imelda, and Poblacion.

This is also part of the strategies in addressing insurgency issues in the area through the Negros Oriental Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NOTF-ELCAC) by responding to the basic needs in the vulnerable areas in the province.

The governor said: “We cannot win peace by bullets or armed struggle, but we can win peace by winning the hearts and minds of the people, and this is what we are going to do bringing the basic services and programs to the people is the best way to end local communist armed conflict.”

Dialogue known as Dagyaw, which is a Hiligaynon term for Bayanihan, is designed to raise awareness on vital government programs that would address access to information, enhance civil society participation and public accountability.

With this, Regional Director Leocadio Trovela of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG7) called on government agencies concerned to respond to the issues according to its mandate and duty to also help President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to fight against insurgency.

However, Dir. Trovela also expressed appreciation that the convergence and collaboration among government agencies which is the intention of Dagyawan showed unity and “malasakit” for the service of the people.

“This is just part of a series of activities bringing the government services closer to the people in the barangays and become more meaningful if we bring Dagyawan to the community kung saan mas nangangailangan,” said Trovela.

The people are also advised to actively participate in the dialogue and reveal their concerns to improve government programs, particularly on insurgency problem.

Right after the dialogue, Guihulngan City Mayor Carlo George Joan Reyes and Dir. Trovela led the ceremonial turnover of “basket of services” from various government agencies as a symbol of government’s commitment to provide the needed basic services and programs to the barangays.

To conclude the event, government officials showed commitment of support to directly engage and collaborate with the local communities in the province to promote transparency, empower the citizens and strengthen grassroots participation. (jct/PIA7 Negros Oriental)