Some 64 elected officials and core staff of the Sanggunian Bayan of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija; Buguey, Cagayan; Nagcarlan, Laguna; Plaridel, Bulacan; Santa, Ilocos Sur; and Tuburan Cebu learned about their important role as catalysts of change and in formulating innovative and responsive ordinances and policies during the “Course on Effective Local Legislation” conducted by the Development Academy of Philippines last August 18 to September 24, 2020 via Google Meet.

This is the second time that the Academy has successfully delivered the Online Course on Effective Local Legislation through the support of Antique Lone District Representative, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda. The intermittent online course consisted of lectures on the role of local legislators as catalysts of change; the art of policymaking; evidence-based legislation, innovative policies and practices; and, parliamentary and internal rules of procedures.

Participants in the Online Course on Effective Local Legislation with DAP Vice President and Managing Director Imelda C. Caluen, Acting Director Jannis T. Montanez, Director Gilbert E. Lumantao, and SFHC Board Director Ronald R. Barcena.

DAP President and CEO Engelbert C. Caronan, Jr., MNSA welcomes the participants, and in his opening message he said that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the important role of local governments in ensuring the safety and welfare of the constituents and how the leaders’ decisions have a direct impact on the lives of the people they serve. He also stressed the necessity for local officers to be better equipped to make sound decisions based on relevant and verified data. President Caronan then encouraged the participants to do something greater than prepare for the new normal. He called on them to create the culture that will usher in the “better normal” which will be defined and shaped by the innovative policies they will push into their respective local legislation.

The participants worked on identifying the most pressing problems in their locality and coming up with policy options to solve them. The participating LGUs also submitted video recordings of simulated Sanggunian sessions that facilitated the sharing of knowledge and best practices in implementing parliamentary and internal rules of procedures. Lastly, the participants drafted ordinances that will address their LGU’s most pressing concern.

Participants share their knowledge and best practices in parliamentary rules through the simulated session activity.

Vice Mayor Jeremy Jesus D.P. Bueno (left); Vice Mayor Imelda G. De Leon (center); and Vice Mayor Democrito M. Diamante (right) shared their impressions of the course and thanked the Academy for implementing the Online Course on Effective Local Legislation.

The participants were generally very satisfied and commended the Academy for implementing the course in an online platform given the travel restrictions imposed by the government.

Vice Mayor Jeremy D.P. Bueno of Santa, Ilocos Sur expressed his gratitude for the civic instructions and guidance given by the Academy and its resource persons. He noted that the improved ability in identifying challenges, prioritizing policy recommendations, and formulating the necessary options for implementation will ensure the happiness and satisfaction of their constituents.

Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Imelda G. De Leon of Plaridel, Bulacan mentioned that it is her first time to enroll in an online class, but attested to the effectiveness of the course in making the participants effective local legislators who knows the needs of their constituents.

Vice Mayor Democrito M. Diamante of Tuburan, Cebu, also thanked the Academy and said that the course served as a refresher and reminded them of their tasks and responsibilities as elected officials in their locality.