NAGA CITY’S successes in its poverty alleviation efforts no doubt allowed it to focus its resources on improving access to basic services like education. But all its education reform efforts could not have been possible without its reinvention of the local school board.
The transformation began in 2001, when the MDGs were largely unheard of and a national government directive for the goals to be localized and included in development planning processes was yet forthcoming. But Naga’s decision then to revamp the school board’s orientation and organizational structure later put the city in a better position to address the gaps in achieving the MDG targets in education.
NAGA CITY, CAMARINES SUR — If one were to put local governments in a classroom setting, the executive body of this thriving city southwest of Metro Manila would be the overachieving nerd, the one guaranteed to garner the most medals at the end of each term.
So when Naga City received a failing grade in one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — achieving universal primary education — local officials characteristically lost no time in dreaming up a program aimed at improving its score. It’s a situation made even more challenging by the city’s demographics: one out of every three Nagueño is of school age. But as Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo put it, “We need to address the continuing inability of our school system to ensure that no child is left behind.”
NAGA CITY — Just about anybody who has avidly followed the remarkable political career of Jesse Robredo exhibited the same perplexed reaction to the news that the multi-awarded chief executive of this premier city had fielded his wife to run for mayor — a position he is also vying for in the coming local elections in May.
THEY MAY not seem to have anything in common, but there is something that the first-class province of Negros Oriental, the second-class city of Surigao in Surigao del Norte, and the fifth-class municipality of Sabangan in Mt. Province share: all three are held up as exemplars of excellence in local governance, thanks to the stewardship of their respective local chief executives.