With the elections soon coming to a close, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now ready to train a total of 17,754 newly-elected and reelected local government officials on how to become effective local government leaders “who will steer their respective localities to greater heights of peace and development.”
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the Department through its training arm, the Local Government Academy (LGA), will soon roll-out the Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program for both neophytes and even the veterans who have been a given a fresh mandate by the people to serve for the next three years.
“Whether you are a newbie or veteran in the local government arena, the DILG under the leadership of Secretary Eduardo Año is prepared to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills in governance to enable you to deal with the critical challenges of your office,” said Malaya.
“We have some very young first-term City Mayors like 29-year old Mayor-elect Vico Sotto of Pasig City and 22-year old Mayor-elect Arth Bryan Celeste of Alaminos City, among others. I know they have lots of plans for their constituents. The DILG is here to train and guide them so that they can better serve the people,” he said.
A total of 17,754 local officials were elected in the recent May 13 national and local midterm elections comprised of 81 governors, 81 vice-governors, 780 provincial board members, 145 city mayors, 145 city vice-mayors, 1,628 city councilors, 1,489 municipal mayors, 1,489 municipal vice-mayors, and 11,916 municipal councilors nationwide.
The NEO program is a regular program of the DILG to help newly-elected local officials to effectively discharge their duties and responsibilities and define their development roadmap.
“We are just waiting for the proclamation of winners in all provinces, cities, and municipalities before we will officially commence the NEO program within this month,” he said.
The DILG Spokersperson says that the new set of local leaders will also undergo series of capacity building trainings for them to align their local agenda with the national priority thrusts of the Duterte administration including the fight against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, violent extremism as well as the federalism advocacy drive.
“With the elections now behind us, we assure you of the DILG’s commitment to guide both the re-elected and first time local officials on how they can best serve their constituents,” he said.
Five-component training package
Malaya explained that the NEO program has five components which will be either on-site training, webinar series, or online coaching sessions.
Component 1 on ensuring smooth transition involves the creation of transition teams, turn-over ceremony, and LGU and NEO competency profiling. Component 2 on jumpstarting local governance covers orientation for NEOs, developing executive-legislative relations, and LGU guide to action.
Meanwhile, Component 3 on creating the roadmap for LGU development tackles cohesive LGU planning and alliance building. Component 4 on sharpening the competencies of LGU officials and staff encompasses specialized local governance modules, mold the NEOs, executive coaching sessions, and competency enhancement for elected officials.
Finally, component 5 on LGU performance management focuses on LGU performance assessment. “The DILG will ensure that local officials, as partners of the national government in nation-building, will be ably equipped with the right knowledge and skills to make them ready to manage the affairs of their respective LGUs and effectively address the needs of their constituents,” he said.