Gov. Roque’s First 100 days: ELA, medicines in hospitals, ‘social services by social workers’

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net) Bukidnon Gov. Rogelio Neil P. Roque said the preparation of an executive and legislative agenda (ELA), medicines in provincial hospitals, and social services implemented by the social workers are some of the doable steps in the first 100 days of his administration.

Gov. Roque said these in an interview for Piniyalan Reporting Governance Community Project on July 6, 2022 even if he clarified that he is not so keen on focusing on what will happen in three months.

“What we are focusing on is on what will happen in the next three, five, or 10 years. We need to plan long term. We are not in a hurry – we focus on the programs to be sustainable,” he said in an interview in his office with a composite team of volunteers from BukidnonNews.Net and staff from Philippine Information Agency – Bukidnon.

Gov. Roque said in the coming weeks the provincial government will engage in the preparation of the executive and legislative agenda (ELA), which he said is important in institutionalizing and sustaining his programs for Bag-ong Bukidnon (new Bukidnon).

Based on a DILG Memorandum Circular in 2016 on updating of local plans, an ELA is a three-year planning document corresponding to the term of local elective officials based on the six-year Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan (PPDFP). The PPDFP identifies strategies and corresponding programs, projects, and activities that serve as primary inputs to provincial investment programming process and a key vertical influence in linking provincial development objectives with local, regional, and national policies and priorities.

The ELA forms part of the PPDFP, according to the circular. The ELA will be developed and agreed upon by both executive and legislative bodies of the LGU and is an integrated plan that contains the major development thrusts and priorities of the executive and legislative branches towards a common vision for the locality. It is also an instrument that will prioritize responses to multisector needs. 

Governor Roque said the ELA serves as a guide for the next three years and he needed the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to support his program for Bag-ong Bukidnon (new Bukidnon). The ELA, he said, combines the executive and legislative agenda so both bodies can help each other. 

He said through the process both bodies could talk about the programs for agriculture, health, social services, infrastructure among others.  

“This is so we can align our programs for new Bukidnon, to formulate our programs and how to achieve our programs,” he added.

Gov. Roque said he wanted no wastes in the provincial government’s spending of the people’s money.

“In projects, infrastructure programs, we want it all to be sustainable. That is our goal, the purpose,” he added.
The ELA is an 11-step process that starts with a “plan to plan” and ends with popularizing the ELA to the constituents. Among the key “in between” steps include prioritizing issues, consulting multi-stakeholders, and prioritizing programs, projects and capacity development needs.

Medicines in hospitals and social services
Gov. Roque vowed also to address the problem of lack of medicines in the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center and other provincial hospitals. He said he is not the expert of everything but he will look for the right people.

He said he would consult with private doctors who manage bigger hospitals and who are willing to help how to run the hospitals to ensure sufficient supply of medicines and availability of doctors.

“Some medicines can be on consignment basis,” he added.  

He said he is also willing to hire more doctors if the hospital management proposes.

The governor said another step he would take in the first 100 days is to ensure that social services in the province will be implemented by social workers of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and not by politicians.

He cited that the resources of the province should go to those who really needed assistance.

“If we are unable to extend help to those who needed, then it becomes a cause of poverty,” he added. 

The governor said he could only start his voucher system to support farmers in 2023, which he said is only one of his programs to develop agriculture in the province. He said the program will provide assistance to small farmers based on their actual needs in seeds and fertilizers and when they needed it. He cited that the provincial government would collaborate with the private sector to address the needs of the province’s agriculture.

He said he is not against expansion of agricultural plantations in the province.

“But there must be proper guidelines so that they will not destroy our environment,” he said, adding it is the job of the provincial board to consult and formulate the guidelines as “more heads are better than one”.   

Gov. Roque said he is espousing for the popularization again of backyard organic farming. He is also keen on developing nurseries not just for trees but also for vegetables in the barangays to help ensure food security.

He said ensuring food security and livelihood in the barangays are strategies, too, to ensure protection of the forests.  He said he would promote the development of small farm areas to help people provide food on their table.

“This can help stop deforestation to prevent people from cultivating in the mountains. People destroy the forest because you gave them no program to survive in the lowlands,” he added.  

He also cited his plan to push for ordinances that will rehabilitate rivers for fishing. He said there should be strict implementation to ban fishing in small tributaries to allow fish to breed.

Gov. Roque said he would also put to task the Bukidnon Environment and Natural Resources (BENRO), for example, to ensure strict regulations on location and volume of the quarrying operations in the province. He said quarrying is an essential activity for people to build houses.

“(That’s their job). As governor, I am here to support what they need, to remind them of their work. I cannot own up all the work,” he added.

The governor responded to a portion of the guide questions prepared by the Piniyalan Reporting Governance Community Project, based on consultations with representatives from 40 organizations from at least 20 sectoral groups in Malaybalay and Valencia cities during focused group discussions in March to April 2022. The consultations, led by BukidnonNews.Net, focused on “Aspirations for Good Governance”. (BukidnonNews.Net)

IN PHOTO: Gov. Rogelio Neil Roque responds to questions during the "Aspirations for Good Governance: Interviews with Select Newly Elected Officials in Bukidnon on July 6, 2022 as part of the Piniyalan Reporting Governance Community Project 2022. Photo courtesy of Philippine Information Agency - Bukidnon 

This story was published with support from Internews Philippines

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