ASAP Tagudin : The Journey
Local Government Unit-Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

The Problem

2004 - the 1st administrative term of Mayor Roque S. Verzosa, Jr. Tagudin was then a 4th Class Municipality.

And, typical of any first-timer in any field is the question of how and where to start and what projects and programs need be implemented in response to the needs of the constituency.

As systems and processes were still not in place, there was no database of basic indicators and information needed to assess the current situation and crucial to the determination of the existing problem(s). There was no profile nor annual situationer report for the whole town, its 43 barangays, sectoral groups, marginalized sector, etc.

Monitoring, status and accomplishment reports of completed projects were not also available including tracking systems for human resource management, communications, records, and the like.

Moreover, there was no roadmap, nor flagship program, nor solid waste management programs, that could provide a direction for governance.

Thus, the establishment of systems and mechanisms was badly and immediately needed. Networking and linkaging between and among the constituents, public and private agencies here and abroad need to established. And most, importantly, ardent, passionate and dedicated public servants who could initiate a change for “awakening” the sleeping potentials of the town.

The leadership was an instrumental catalyst that has transformed the people from complacency and dependence to co-ownership, participative governance, raising the bar of excellence, result-oriented and humility driven governance.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
ASAP Tagudin : The Journey. At the onset and upon assumption of Office, Mayor Roque S. Verzosa, Jr. immediately embarked on a Journey to the 43 Barangays, not only to thank the people for their trust, but to bring consultative governance down to the barangays, strongly supplemented by consultations in the Journey to the 29 schools all over the municipality – these has been dubbed as the “Journey to the 43 Barangays and to the 28 Schools”. The “Journey” is being done year-round to ensure maximum grassroots level participation in the development and governance process and to ensure that the primordial needs of the people are addressed accordingly and effectively. Also, he initiated visits to homes of Municipal employees, starting with the Department Heads. This component of the Journey to the Barangays provides the Chief Executive the opportunity to socialize with the employees’ family up close and personal. All suggestions and recommendations are being properly documented and acted upon. Urgent requests are immediately acted upon on that very same day.

Moreover, during the “Journeys…” the Chiefs of Offices or their representatives are present to provide staff support to the Chief Executive wherein they are able to immediately respond to questions, to inquiries and to other needs of the people during the consultative meeting.
The result of this “Journey” has been the basis and has all been incorporated in the formulation of the town’s 12 Flagship Program through the Executive-Legislative Agenda. The ELA for 2004-2007, 2007-2010 and 2010-2013 is backed by Legislative support.
Through the formulation of the 12 Flagship Program for each of the three-year administrative terms, a roadmap was made to set the pace and direction of governance. Impacts were measured by means of the Local Governance Performance Management System(LGPMS), Community Based Monitoring System(CBMS), etc. However, the most significant indicator is the reclassification of Tagudin from a 4th to a 3rd Class Municipality in 2004, from 3rd to 2nd Class in 2008 and in 2010 bracketted as a 1st Class Municipality by the Bureau of Local Governance and Finance.

Likewise, the involvement of the citizenry have increased substantially and is manifested in many of the Municipality’s endeavors and undertakings being supported, accepted and co-owned by them.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
“ASAP Tagudin : The Journey” has been the solution crafted by all Tagudinians during the conduct of the “Journey to the 43 Barangays and to the 29 Schools” as during these consultations/dialogues, the people themselves identified their needs and proposed for solutions/alternatives. However, this was made possible under the leadership and initiative of Mayor Roque S. Verzosa, Jr. supported by Vice Mayor Rogelio Lorenzana and the Members of the Municipal Council.

The stakeholders of “ASAP Tagudin : The Journey” include the entirety of the population of the Municipality as they are the virtual beneficiaries of all projects and programs being implemented by the Local Government

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The core and primordial objective of ASAP Tagudin : The Journey are projects and programs responsive to the needs of the constituency and that which have evolved from participative governance.

Strategies include:

Consultative Governance, through the “Journey to the 43 Barangays and 28 Schools. This is a very functional and important strategy as it “gathers” directly from the constituents issues and concerns as to their needs and likewise provides a feedback mechanism.

Formulation of the Executive-Legislative Agenda for each of the 3-year administrative terms as culled from barangay consultations, sectoral representative meetings, and stakeholders dialogues which have documented and referred to in the planning and design of every development program.

Crafting of the Town’s Vision, Mission, Thrusts and Core Values. A clear cut direction, purpose, focus and core values were altogether identified by the townspeople, reflective of participative governance

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The following key development and implementation steps were chronologically undertaken by the present administration:

Conduct of the annual/regular “Journey to the 43 Barangays and to the 29 Schools”, where all stakeholders and sectoral representatives were invited.

Conduct of the ELA every start of the administrative term. After the results of the “Journey to the 43 Barangays and 29 Schools are consolidated, the ELA is being conducted to craft the “blueprint” for the 3-year term of governance.

12 Flagship Program. From the result of the ELA, priority programs are being culled from among all suggestions and concerns, dubbed as ASAP Tagudin’s 12 Flagship Program, where each of the program have their own “Program Managers” who plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the progress/status of their own program. Regular accomplishment reports are being submitted to the Local Chief Executive for his information/comment/recommendations/approval.

Regular Meetings for Monitoring. The Local Chief Executive calls for the conduct of monthly executive and committee meetings to monitor and assess the status of implementation for each and every project and to resolve on any issue which may arise during the implementation phase. Likewise, after implementation, monitoring on the functionality on the program/project.

Objectively Verifiable Indicators. These are “measures” used to assess the impact of the project/program. After project implementation, the impact or bearing of each and every project is being measured and monitored by the Program Manager/Personnel In Charge.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
Customary of any undertaking are obstacles. For ASAP Tagudin : The Journey, foremost is how to transform people from dependency to self-reliance and from requesting personal to community needs. To this, the LGU gradually and continuously instills values formation programs into the system, from the lowest to the highest ranks in both barangay(village) and municipal levels.

Another constraint is limited resources. To address all the needs of the people calls for the use of resources. However, the availability and timeliness of such resources, is not at all times enough. Be it as it may, the LGU institutionalized “co-ownership” projects and programs to augment this deficiency/scarcity. The constituents involve themselves in projects and programs of the LGU – either by way of donations, sponsorships or counterparting. This has been developed because of the trust and confidence of the people to the administration. Prioritization of needs is also being practiced including the efficient and effective utilization of resources. Revenue enhancement initiatives are also being implemented.

Shortage of human resources was augmented be empowering officials from the village(barangay) level dubbed as “Barangay Focal Persons”, who have their Municipal Counterparts. They were institutionalized through a Resolution/Ordinance and perform functions as their Local Counterparts in the areas of Infrastructure, Tourism, Social Services, Agriculture, Environment, Real Property Tax and Information.

Finally, the transferability or sustainability of the projects/programs which were addressed by means of institutionalization through ordinances and resolutions.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
Resources used for the initiative are the following:Local Income, Income from Excise Tax (RA 7171), Internal Revenue Allotment and Grants and Donations. Human resource Management are the personnel of the Agency and the whole 38,123 population of the Municipality. Technical expertise come from the Agency (Engineers, Accountants, Medical Practitioners,among others) and consultants coming from public and private institutions.

Through these, there was effective and efficient utilization of resources resulting to improved quality of life.

These mobilized through proper budgeting, accounting and auditing procedures and legislative appropriations.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Yes, ASAP Tagudin: The Journey will be administration proof and will continue to be sustained beyond 2013. The flagship programs were institutionalized through Legislative Measures, they were included in the Annual Investment Plan, Annual Development Plan and some applicable projects and programs were adopted in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The adoption and approval of the Revenue Code, Local Investment Code, Sanitation Code, Environment Code, Traffic Code, Market Code and Tourism Code were proof of the programs and projects sustainability.
ASAP Tagudin has also been copyrighted under the Intellectual Property Rights Office. Recently, the Tagudin Mascots and Tagudin Chorale were also institutionalized through legislative enactments.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The Municipality of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur Philippines has been distinguished in various National, Regional, Provincial including awards, recognition and citations including invitations from International Agencies/ Organization such as the UNESCO and Harvard University in the USA.

Hereto fore are the National Awards/Recognition: PAGASA Award for the Local Chief Executive, Hon. Roque S. Versoza, Jr. for Outstanding Public Service conferred by the Civil Service Commission in 2008; GANTIMPALA AGAD Award for the Tagudin PNP Policemen conferred by Civil Service Commission in 2010; Award of Excellence for Outstanding Performance and Sustained Commitment in the Implementation of the E-Governance for Municipal Development Program conferred in 2010, JOSE N. RODRIGUEZ Award for Quality Leprosy Services conferred by the Department of Health in 2010.
Regional Awards: GAWAD PAMANA NG LAHI CHAMPION conferred by the Department of Interior and Local Government in 2011; SEAL OF GOOD HOUSEKEEPING CHAMPION for the DILG in 2011; BEST PERFORMING Local Government Unit by the DILG 2009; Child-Friendly Governance from the Regional Council for the welfare of children in 2010; Mode/Citizens Charter by the CSC in 2011.
Provincial Awards: Best Performing Local Government Unit by DILG in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 ( Hall of Fame Awardee ); Certificate of Recognition for the Accreditation and Equivalency Mobile Teaching Program by the DEP-ED, 2010; THE ASAP TAGUDIN blueprint catapulted the Municipality from a 4th class in 2004 to a bracketed 1st class Municipality in 2009. This has brought tremendous socio-economic transformation for the people from dependence and complacency to involvement and empowerment. Runner up in the Cleanest, Greenest and Safest Municipality in 2009; 2010.

Lessons: Public Governance

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Local Government Unit-Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Roque Verzosa, Jr.
Title:   Mayor  
Telephone/ Fax:   +63776521740
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Philippines
Postal Code:   2714
City:   Municipality of Tagudin
State/Province:   Ilocos Sur
Country:   Philippines

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