Government and private sector partnership has always been the guiding approach in the social and economic development of the municipality of Bacolod. Through the implementation of various projects, experience and awareness in consultative/participative developmental processes have been implanted and cultivated. The formulation of various development plans, e.g. Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Investment Plan, and Enterprise Development Plan has involved people participation, even at the barangay level.
Local Government issuances of supportive resolutions and decision have likewise been adequately addressed. Local Government deliberations, public hearings and issuances supportive of CDD-LPP Activities have been addressed. Key Result Areas (KRAs) of development Planning (Barangay assemblies, participatory situational analysis, inter-barangay forums, barangay development plans), resource allocation (allocation of 20% Development Funds, transparency in allocation and used, and community bayanihan work), and project implementation, have been formulated and adopted by practically all barangays with a Consolidated Barangay Sustainability Plan formulated during the turned-over ceremony of the KC-MT Sub-Projects. Barangay LGUs (BLGUs) have been supportive in actual plan formulation and deliberation, and have been likewise supportive in the issuance of enabling resolutions. In the same documents, sub-project activities and allocation for O and M programs, accreditations and development have been made integral to BDPs.
The people and the Municipality of Bacolod has been, and is, fortunate to be chosen as implementation area of various national government programs, as well as foreign-funded sub-projects. Among these is the KALAHI-CIDSS. Through time, the people’s awareness and participation in their roles in development planning and overall mechanism of governance has been enhanced. People participation in barangay assemblies, barangay development council deliberations and even in public hearings of proposed policies, rules and ordinances have been both sustained and adopted. Barangay and Municipal consultative bodies and gatherings have always ensured participation/inclusion of as wide section as possible (different sectors such as): farmers, fisherfolks, traditional/religious groups, business sectors, youth, women, educators and professionals.
Community/People participation in most activities, received with enthusiasm, are way above acceptable or expected level. They readily attend such activities, and to a degree, are active in deliberations. However, it is observed that some are less responsive during technical deliberations and are less venturesome in topics/areas where governmental procedures are discussed. Quite obviously, they are not well-versed in:
- Technical matters, and
- Governmental administrative procedures, policies and options.
Both of these constraints need to be adequately addressed, otherwise, good intentions in as far as building greater transparency and accountability may be hampered. It is improbable that communities be expected to actively be involved in what they cannot define and put adequate measures to.
The LGU of Bacolod seeks to strengthen capacities of communities in local planning for development, as well as assist in monitoring and evaluation of interventions and programs. Improved awareness in their roles, procedures/processes, options and even policies is seen to enhance effective/responsive people participation. Corollary to this, the project will also redirect or revitalize government / implementer paradigms, particularly on developmental governance. It is deemed imperative that both people and local government be aware of their roles, enabled/empowered in their interactions and harmonized in their intentions.
The LGU participation in the KALAHI-CIDSS Makamasang Tugon Program helps in the enhancement of the people and community participation in local development planning process in the Local Government Units (Barangay and Municipal) of the Municipality of Bacolod. People’s participation be institutionalized and mainstreamed so that:
- Local Communities are empowered in terms of participation and community development identification of needs and problem solving;
- Enhance good governance by way of transparency, accountability, partnerships and performance assessment: and
- Reduce poverty by improvement of delivery of basic services and enhancement of opportunities for development projects.