Representatives from different local government units, development planners, academe and other sectors learned about Valenzuela City’s centerpiece of development as Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian talked about “Good Education is Good Governance” on the second day of the 9th Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) National Conference at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.
Speaking before a thousand delegates from all over the country, Mayor Gatchalian said the door-to-door data gathering from constituents of CBMS gave the city relevant information to come up with precise solutions.
“We are now able to customize our program planning to the actual needs of our constituents,” he said. “In this way, we are able to strengthen our anchor WIN Ang Edukasyon Program and deliver services from shotgun approach to target approach.”
The chief executive, whose strong background is in finance and management, elaborated that this brings the local government into “becoming more efficient and save up on city expenses through projects that are indeed relevant to the needs of the constituents.”
Citing an example, Mayor Gatchalian said that the city’s aggressive 100-classroom per year infrastructure program was not enough to lay the foundation for better education. He said that it also requires soft investments such as high caliber trainings for its rank of educators and programs catering to other sectors such as the out-of-school youths and special learners.
A citywide in-school feeding program for 6,000 undernourished children, he said, was also introduced in an aim to maximize learning potentials of these underprivileged students.
On the other hand, the city-run and city-funded Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) and the Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (Valpoly) engineered their affordable yet quality course offerings based on the demands of the city and of the labor force in general.
Disbelief seized the audience when Mayor Gatchalian said a Valenzuelano youth can get an engineering degree for only PhP 2,000 per semester.
With this holistic problem-solving pattern, Mayor Gatchalian said Valenzuela City was able to improve the performance of its students from bottom-dwellers and uplift the confidence of its people in general.
Along with Gatchalian, Mayor Ronnel Lim of Gubat, Sorsogon; Provincial Planner Gladys Barile of Occidental Mindoro and Engr. Mary Grace Failan of Batangas State University presented other developmental programs focusing on resilience, innovation and sustainability. Deputy Administrator at National Statistics Office Monina Collado moderated the discussion.