At least 20 representatives from the Local Government Units of Lambayong and President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat together with the EU-funded RESOURCEGov project team from the Mahintana Foundation lately visited Tagum, Davao del Norte and Bislig City for a cross-visit/learning exposure on Nov. 17-19, 2015 recognizing their best practices on Good Governance, Investment and revenue generation. Both cities were recognized as the best areas for learning exposure. Tagum for being successful in its implementation of the Economic Enterprises and for having a remarkable income in terms of tourism and Bislig City, on the other hand, for generating more employment, improving its health facilities and services through its Health Care financing known as ‘Kanami’ under Private-Public Partnership (PPP).
Upon arrival at Tagum City, the team was accompanied by Ms. Isabeyl Rose Abapo, Tourism Officer of Tagum, and lead the group on a tour and showed them around the area. She served as the guide with extensive local knowledge providing facts and information about Tagum City. The team also had the chance to visit the Economic Enterprise Office of Tagum City and were warmly welcomed by Ms. Mary Grace Terante, OIC of the Economic Enterprise Office, who provided inputs of the experiences and best practices of Tagum in terms of revenue generation through its Economic enterprise and Tourism. Later, the team visited some of the city’s landmarks including the ‘bagsakan’ area which is located near the terminal making it convenient for consumers and sellers to purchase and sell goods/products, the cemetery which has been transformed from the disorganized, unkempt public cemetery into a must-see tourist destination and the night market which is open from Monday to Sunday from 6:00pm to 2:00am.
During the 2nd day, the team proceeded to Bislig City where they had the chance to visit the RHU and Ms. Annabelle Yabacatan, RHU Admin Officer, shared inputs regarding the Health Care Financing Program “Kanami” of Bislig which is a locally initiated health insurance by the City health office patterned from the generic policy of the Philippine Health Insurance to answer the unmet needs of more than 6,000 displaced PICOP workers and scarcity of funds from the LGU. Afterwards, the group had a tour to different areas/departments of the RHU including the Ambulatory Surgical Clinic, the Kanami Botika, the dental clinic, laboratory and its rehabilitation center. On Day 3, the team had another opportunity to visit different health establishments and programs of Bislig City for possible replication.
The 3-day cross visit activity imparted learnings and opportunities that may be explored by both LGUs in their thrust to increase revenues and improve local governance. There may be certain areas which may not be applicable in their respective LGU, but certainly, with active participation, involvement and political will from local officials and support from various departments/agencies, LGUs can adopt strategies and implement them successfully.