How can we move mountains? How do we begin the journey of a thousand miles? We may do it a shovel at a time; we may begin one step at a time. And so we did. How did we mobilize the whole municipality? We started a person at a time. We started with the highest local chief executive: Mayor Rodolfo "Rudy" Villar.
Afterward, we proceeded to go the DILG game plan. The pre-implemementation phase of HES-SRA-MBN was executed in three levels. The members of the master mind group enumerated mentioned in another post entitled Human and Ecological Security were trained to be Level I Trainers to conduct the Level II Trainers' Training for the Municipal Technical Working Group (MTWG).
This Level II MTWG will then in turn train the Level III implementors of the HES-SRA-MBN, which are the Punong Barangay, Sangguniang Barangay Members, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Chairman, Barangay Secretary and Barangay Treasurer, Chief of Barangay Tanod, the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) and other identified indigenous volunteers workers and leaders. These will form the Barangay Technical Working Groups (BTWG) in each of the 48 barangays of the municipality.
Parallel to these efforts, the institutional arrangement for various stakeholders of the program were also being developed. How the different national initiatives and various legislations and mandates can fit together in a smoothly functioning whole that can be operational at the municipal and the barangay level was big challenge but not insurmountable.
The plans, programs and legislations consirered were disccussed in the preceeding section on Human and Ecological Security. What remains is to put these ideas formally into writing: an organized plan.
Thus the Aksyon ng Bayan Rosario 2001 AB was conceptualized. It is the shortened version for Aksyon ng Bayan Refocusing Objectives & Strategies of Attaining Realistic Innovations Onwards 2001 And Beyond: A Program on Sustainable Human Development and Ecological Security for the Municipality of Rosario, Batangas.
This organized plan was formally made operational by the Executive Order No. 98-02 dated October 5, 1998 issued by the Municipal Mayor.
Excerpts from the above order entitled Approving and Directing the Implementation of the Muncipal Government's Aksyon ng Bayan Rosario 2001 AB describes the composition of the operational network that matters most in the implementation of the plan.
Executive Committee. The Municipal Mayor serves as the Chairman, with the Sustainable Development Action Officer (SDAO) as Vice Chairman and Lead Convenor. The members include:
- Chair of the Committee on Appropriations of the Sangguniang Bayan:
- President, Liga ng mga Barangay;
- President, Community Volunteers Network of Rosario (Batangas) Inc. or COMVONET;
- Municipal Budget Officer;
- Municipal Health Officer;
- Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator;
- Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) District Supervisor;
- DILG Municipal Local Government Operations Officer;
- Department of Health Rural Health Physician.
Municipal/Barangay Technical Working Groups (MTWG/BTWGs). The Technical Working Groups are composed of the following persons:
Technical Action Officers (TAOs) from the:
- local government units (LGUs),
- national government agencies (NGAs),
- non-government organizations,
Representaves from the Basic Sectors defined under the Social Reform Agenda (SRA).
Program Secretariat. This is headed by the
- SDAO, and includes the
- Assistant SDAO and the
- Community Volunteer Monitors (CVMs)
Barangay Development Networks (BDNs). This is chaired by the
- Punong Barangay, with the following members
- Representative from the Sangguniang Bayan,
- Barangay Delegate of the COMVONET,
- MTWG Barangay Cluster Leader or his/her
- Barangay Cluster Representative covering the particular barangay.
Purok/Sitos and Pangkats. Each barangay was divided, depending on its population or land area, into 3-7 Puroks/Sitios headed by a Barangay Kagawad/Purok Leader. Each Purok/sition is then organized into Pangkats consisting of an average of 10-15 Families, which are represented by their respective Heads of Families.
Each Pangkat is headed by a Pangkat Leader chosen by the Pangkat Members from among themselves. The clustering of families depended on the number of houses and thier proximity to each other.
The organizational network described above for the local HES Plan was designed to be in harmony with at least two development policy and planning bodies - the Municipal Development Council (MDC) and the Barangay Development Councils of the respective barangays.
All identified programs and projects selected at the grassroots level, the neighbhorhood, or the Pangkats shall be endorsed to the conceerned Barangay Development Council for approval, which in turn will be transmitted to the Exeutive Committe for comment and then forwarded to the Municipal Development Council for approval, as the case may be.
To effectively implement the AKSYON NG BAYAN ROSARIO 2001 AB, funding was sourced primarily from the 20% Development Fund and any other fund that the Municipal Mayor may authorize.
This was done in close coordination with the Municipal Budget Officer and the SDAO, subject to availability of funds and the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
Therefore, the practical insight here is that down at the local government level, it is the open-mindedness of the Local Chief Executive to change and his or her political will to pursue that change which significantly determines the outcome of any national initiative, with very rare exceptions.