Three ICLEI Members land top 10 in 2017 Galing Pook Awards

The ten winners of Galing Pook  Awards 2017 posed together after receiving their prizes (Photo from Cagayan de Oro's Facebook Page). 

ICLEI SEAS congratulates its three members that were recognized by the 2017 Galing Pook Awards. Ten local government units in the country marked for their “innovative practices in local governance” were lauded last Thursday, October 12 at Novotel, Quezon City.

Galing Pook Foundation chairperson and former Marikina City Mayor Lourdes Fernando noted the ingenuity of all 18 finalists during the opening ceremony.

Winners from ICLEI’s roster of members include Pasig City for its Bayanihan sa Daan Sustainable Transport Program; Cagayan de Oro’s Rising from the Mud; and General Santos City for its Lingap sa Kabataang Ayaw sa Droga (LIKAY DROGA). Naga City, also a member of ICLEI, qualified as a Top Ten Finalist for their programs, Mainstreaming Migration and Development and Building Socially Inclusive Economic Enterprises.

Here is a brief profile of the winning initiatives of the three LGUs:

Pasig City's Road to Sustainable Transport

The Bayanihan sa Daan Sustainable Transport Program draws from the Filipino concept of lending a helping hand to each other. Through the leadership of Mayor Bobby Eusebio, the city became the first to promote road-sharing, especially with cyclists and pedestrians.

The Car-less Sunday Program is currently implemented in three of its main roads: Ortigas Avenue, MRR Pineda, and Caruncho Avenue. Under this initiative, Pasig City closes these roads to motorized forms of transport from 6 AM to 12 noon.

Other projects in the pipeline include the establishment of an elevated and covered walkway to make walking more enjoyable for those who walk from Ortigas MRT to Opal Street. The walkway will also reach the Central Business District. The proposed walkway will also reduce walking time by at least 50%; giving pedestrians more incentives to walk rather than get a cab or take their cars. 

Pasig City is an ICLEI member since 2016 and has been involved in the One Planet City Challenge by WWF and ICLEI SEAS. They also serve as the model city for the IKI-project, Ambitious City Promises, which will be launched during the Seoul Mayors Forum this October. 

Cagayan de Oro Rises Up to the Challenge

The winning initiative of Cagayan de Oro is dubbed “Rising Up from the Mud”. The program aimed to rebuild the city in the wake of Typhoon Sendong’s devastation.

Mayor Oscar Moreno looks back at the “political obstructionism” that he experienced while taking the lead for this program; citing multiple cases filed against him due to his unconventional way of using funds.

The local chief executive shared that despite these challenges; the key to his success was his tenacity and strong engagement with the community. For the project, the Mayor convened peoples’ organizations, NGOs, and the academe to draft a People’s Agenda and to form a collective voice calling for development projects in the city.

Rising from the Mud is noted for the transformation of CDO’s decrepit Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office to one that is at par with world standards. He also used special funds that did not need the go-signal of the council to build classrooms and jumpstart a calamity fund.

Roads which were destroyed by the typhoon were repaired through partnerships with the National Government Agency. PhilHealth funds were also diverted to repair the JR Borja General Hospital as well as to expand its operations.

Cagayan de Oro became an ICLEI member last year and has been involved in the USAID project, Strengthening Urban Resilience through Growth and Equity (SURGE). ICLEI SEAS serves as the local implementation partner for SURGE. 

General Santos City Strengthens Anti-Drug Campaigns Geared for the Youth

Another ICLEI member, General Santos City bagged the award for their anti-drug advocacy called Lingap Kabataang Ayaw sa Droga or Likay Droga.

According to the City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, the program aims to “enhance and strengthen efforts to protect the city’s youth and other concerned sectors from the illegal drug menace.”

The anti-drug campaign features educational drives which the city brings to its schools and communities. In fact, the local government expects to develop modules to be used by their teachers in spreading awareness about the dangers of illegal drugs.

The implementation of the program is conducted through a partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 12, Philippine National Police, Department of Education, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

To highlight the youth’s talent in sports and arts, General Santos City held a week-long festivity last month.

General Santos City has been an active ICLEI member since 2006. The local government was involved in a research conducted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies titled, "Linking global targets to sustainable lifestyles in Asia: An analysis of City Development Plans."

*This article was developed through the published reports of Rappler and MindaNews

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