For the cities of Roxas and Passi, the 2019-2022 administration ushers in a fresh start as seasoned public officials are serving their first term as mayors of said respective cities. Roxas City Mayor Ronnie Dadivas and Passi City Mayor Stephen Palmares both introduced their agenda with particular focus on the delivery of social services across all gender and age.
Roxas City’s CHANCES
Less than six months upon assuming office, Roxas City Mayor Ronnie Dadivas immediately convened the city’s Gender and Development Focal Point System (GFPS) to reorganize the Executive Committee (ExeCom) and Technical Working Group (TWG) as the city’s affirmation of the significant role of women in development and nation building. Members of the TWG were joined by Mr. Rolly Dela Cruz, staff from the City Mayor’s Office, as the new GFPS TWG Chair and designated GAD Focal Point Person.
A GAD Office will also be established as specified in Executive Order No. 09, series of 2019, “Reorganizing the Gender and Development Focal Point System for the City of Roxas, Prescribing Rules Therefor and for Other Purposes.” Also articulated in the same EO are the roles and responsibilities of the GFPS ExeCom, TWG, and focal person. A unique feature of the city’s GFPS is the representation of barangay service and health workers in the ExeCom.
Mayor Dadivas, a former city councilor and vice mayor also served as Capiz Provincial Government’s GAD Focal Person. With prior knowledge and experience on GAD, Mayor Dadivas ensured that GAD will be given attention in the city and will be mainstreamed particularly in the health and social welfare sectors. Important to note, Roxas City already has its GAD Code in place since 2012 and all 47 barangays have active Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) desks and GFPS. While Roxas City seems to be advanced with its work on GAD, it was recognized that there is still a need for further capacity development for its GFPS members.
With Mayor Dadivas’ 7-point agenda – CHANCES (Cleanliness and beautification, Health and wellness, Agriculture and aquaculture support, Negosyo and trabaho, Community and infrastructure development, Education and environment, and Social Services), gender is warranted to be mainstreamed and will contribute in bringing equal opportunities for all.
Diagnosing local issues through barangay visits
In his first months in office, Passi City Mayor Stephen Palmares went around the city to visit barangays to see and hear for himself the issues faced by his constituents. In the blue notebook which he carries with him wherever he goes, he has listed these issues down and ensured the barangay officials that these will be addressed during his term. These include one of Mayor Palmares’ flagship projects, to put up an Oversears Filipino Worker (OFW) Center, a one-stop shop for documents processing for Passinhons. More importantly, the Center will also host the database for male and female Passinhon OFWs. With their growing number, the city saw the need to document and profile OFWs and their families to further provide them with services.
With the establishment of the city’s GFPS in 2018 through Executive Order No. 2018-070, Engr. Mary Jean Quiling, City Planning and Development Coordinator and designated GAD Focal Person, also expressed the importance of capacity development among GFPS members as this will lead to a sound GAD plan and budget and implementation.
Both the Cities of Roxas and Passi are fortunate to have city mayors with particular attention to delivery of basic services in further uplifting the lives of people and advancing opportunities for both men and women.