In line with the city’s goal to promote citizen engagement in governance, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte led the recent oath-taking of the interim executive committee officers of the People’s Council of Quezon City.
The People’s Council of Quezon City (PCQC), which serves as the “umbrella arm” of 2,232 city-accredited Civil Society Organizations (CSO), will work with the local government to ensure that every program or policy is indeed responsive to the needs of the QCitizens.
“Ang People’s Council ang magsisilbing mata, tenga, at boses ng mga mamamayan sa ating pamahalaang lungsod. Malaki ang maitutulong ng kanilang kasanayan sa pagbuo ng mga programang dapat at nararapat para sa mga residente,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
Recently, Mayor Belmonte signed the implementing rules and regulations of City Ordinance SP-1942,S-2009 or the Participation, Accountability, and Transparency (PAT) Ordinance that strengthens and institutionalizes the system of partnership of the local government and its constituents.
After its ratification in 2009, it was only during Mayor Belmonte’s administration that the PAT Ordinance was fully enacted.
“Sa loob ng 13 taon, hindi naisakatuparan ang batas na ito na sana nagpatatag na ng pagtutulungan ng pamahalaan at mamamayan. Kasi kapag meron nang PCQC, mas mabusisi ang lahat ng proseso, mula sa pagpaplano, sa pagba-budget, hanggang sa pagsasakatuparan ng programa.”
“Ang tunay na malinis at tapat na pamahalaan ay kapag kasangga ang mga mamamayan sa pamamahala. Ngayong mayroon nang PCQC na makakatuwang ng pamahalaang lungsod, makaaasa ang mga QCitizen na ang bawat piso at sentimong nanggagaling sa kanilang buwis ay mapupunta sa mga programang makabuluhan at makatutulong para maitaas ang antas ng pamumuhay ng bawat residente,” the mayor explained.
Under the IRR of the ordinance, the PCQC can sit in the city’s local special bodies (task force, committees, etc.) through their elected representative whose expertise is in line with the bodies’ target sector. They will participate in all the committee’s deliberation, conceptualization, and evaluation of projects.
PCQC members include representatives from sectors of Business, Professional, Women, HomeOwners Associations, Persons-with-Disabilities, Urban Poor, Solo Parents, LGBTQIA, Cooperatives, Charitable/Socio-Civic, Social Justice/Peace and Order, Health and Sanitation, Academe/Education, Youth, Labor/Workers, Transportation, Senior Citizens, Socio-Cultural, Environmental/Urban Protection/Solid Waste, Livelihood/Vendors, Religious. The city also plans to add Muslim or Bangsamoro, Sports, and Media in the represented sectors.
They will also conduct research and will have a data bank for sectoral concerns and document community initiatives in development. The result of their research will be considered in the identification and development of the city’s programs and projects.
PCQC will serve as the city’s lobby group on behalf of its members and networks. They will also assist the city government in informing their sectors about the city’s initiatives for them which addresses concerns that affect their rights.
According to Barangay and Community Relations Department (BCRD) Head Ricardo B. Corpuz, the city has already been working with CSO for years as they are members of the City Development Council (CDC), the planning body of the LGU.
“Ang CDC ay binubuo ng mga opisyal, barangay captains, at maging kinatawan ng mga sektor mula sa Council of Sectoral Representatives. Noon pa man, kaagapay na talaga natin sila. We must institutionalize our collaboration with them para mas mapalakas natin ‘yung citizen participation in governance at ma-encourage pa ‘yung iba na makiisa,” Corpuz said.
He added that with the creation of PCQC all members of local boards and councils should be accredited by the BCRD. The PCQC will assign the people’s representatives to the respective local government boards and councils coming from the accredited CSOs while the BCRD will serve as their secretariat.
The institutionalization of the People’s Council is aligned with Mayor Belmonte’s 14-point agenda, specifically agenda number 14 which is to “Listen to our citizens and understand what they need.”