Naga’s i-Serve Program gets award in CBMS National Confab

By Nicolas C. Motos, Jr.

MANILA — Naga City’s innovative i-Serve Program won second place in the Community-Based Monitoring System’s (CBMS) 3rd Special LGU Awards Category 1 for Best Program Intervention during the 10th CBMS Philippines National Conference held last March 24-26, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Manila.

PROUD NAGUEÑOS.The i-Serve program team pauses to show proudly the award Naga LGU received during the conference.

The City of Carmona won the first prize while Ligao City of Albay garnered the 3rd place.

The conference, organized by the De La Salle University Angelo Institute for Economic and Business Studies, in partnership with the Department of Local Governments and the Interior (DILG), is an annual forum of local chief executives and development practitioners on their use and implementation of CBMS and issues related to participatory budgeting, disaster risk reduction and management, and improving local governance in the country.

One of the event’s highlights is the ceremonial launching and turn-over of the new CBMS publication, “The Many Faces of Poverty, Vol. 5, which has its special feature on the City of Naga. This fifth volume of statistical tables and poverty maps of seven cities (Naga being one of them) generated through the CBMS methodology represents part of a series of publication made possible with the collaboration of the CBMS Network coordinating team and its partner LGUs.

The CBMS is an organized way of collecting ongoing information at the local level and a tool for improved local governance. Naga, one of the LGUs that invested in CBMS is now reaping the fruits of its labor.

Mayor John G. Bongat in his message during the publication launch stressed: “I made the decision to invest in CBMS for two primary considerations: First, management needs to be anchored on evidence-based policies. At the city level, the absence of disaggregated data hampers social development. For three cycles, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) has been producing useful statistics on a snmall area-based poverty. But most of the other data end at the provincial level. We need to reach down to the village and household levels, and the CBMS does a wonderful job of filling the gaps.”

And he added: “My other reason is personal. When I was councilor, one of the programs I shepherded was the Innovative Service and Value Entitlement (I-Serve Ordinance) that sought to improve service delivery and accountability at the supply side through verifiable records of service provision and ensure greater efficiency at the demand side by eliminating redundancy, thereby saving limited government resources. The absence of a city-level database of Naga’s households during its early years hampered the progress of the I-Serve program. The CBMS data that came on stream in 2012 addressed the critical gap.”

The mayor also gave a short talk on this main program to reduce poverty and sustain the development gains of Naga City.

SPEAKER.Mayor John Bongat addresses the national conference during the launching of the CBMS publication where Naga is one of the featured cities. He also gave a short talk on poverty reduction and Naga City’s development gains.

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