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Naga, academe to sign partnership on Student Participation Program

Bicol Mail

NAGA CITY — This city, known for its innovations on accountability, transparency and people-empowerment, will be launching this coming Tuesday, November 19, a new program, called Sangguniang Panlungsod Student Participation Program (SP-SPP) aimed at educating and engaging the youth in the affairs of the legislative branch of the city government.

During the upcoming 19th Regular Session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the city council, headed by Vice Mayor Nelson S. Legacion, together with Mayor John G. Bongat, is slated to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with six colleges in Naga which shall demonstrate and concretize their commitment to implement the said program this Second Semester of SY 2013-2014.

The schools involved are University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), Ateneo de Naga University (AdeNU), Universidad de Sta. Isabel (USI), Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPC), Naga College Foundation (NCF), and the only state college in Naga, the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST).

“There have been series of meetings with the different schools during the last two months and we are very glad that they are highly receptive to the concept of this new transparency and people-empowerment program of the city.  There is a mutual desire between the city government and the academe to involve, as early as possible, the youth in nation-building,” said Vice Mayor Nelson S. Legacion.

SP-SPP generally aims to educate the students on the legislative functions and processes of the city government, enhance the awareness of the students on the various developmental issues of the city and, consequently, empower them as proactive stakeholders and development partners of the city via an interactive feedback mechanism between them and the city officials.

To achieve its goals, SP-SPP will introduce two mechanisms – 1) SP Watch and 2) SP Forum.  SP Watch will provide students the opportunity to observe the proceedings of the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s regular session.  Per week, one class per university will sit as an audience of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.  They will also be provided copies of the agenda, resolutions, and ordinances to be discussed in the session and other documents necessary to the knowledgeable and intelligent observation of the SP’s deliberations.

SP Forum, meanwhile, shall serve as an interactive feedback mechanism.  After or in between recess period of the SP’s regular session, a 15- to 30-minute open forum shall be conducted for the students to clarify procedural measures of the Sanggunian, provide their thoughts and comments on certain developmental issues being faced by the city and  are presently being deliberated by the SP, and/or offer suggestions on how to improve city mechanisms and projects.

“SP-SPP will not only serve as a tool for the development of our city’s human resources, but will also function as an institutionalized system for the youth to actively partake in the governance processes of the city,” stated Vice Mayor Legacion.

For his part, Mayor John G. Bongat said that SP-SPP is being pursued as part of the advocacy of the city government to strengthen further its transparency and people-empowerment measures.

“SP-SPP is consistent with the H2ELP your CiTy agenda of the present administration.  It is our belief that for our economic growth to be sustainable and inclusive, every Nagueňo, especially the youth, should actively be involved in our governance and development processes,” said Mayor Bongat.