Every year, each barangay in Tacurong City gets P2 million from the city government, a practice that, according to Mayor Lina Montilla has ensured equitable distribution of resources to all barangays in the city.

Montilla was among the four local government executives who served as resource persons during the “Ang LGUng Magaling, May Nararating Talakayan” during the Good Governance Dialogues at Pinnacle Hotel and Suites in Davao City on November 6-7.

Participants include over 200 representatives from local government units, civil society organizations, business sector and national government agencies in Davao Region, SOCCSKSARGEN Region and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

With Montilla in the panel that discussed good governance practices were South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes; Upi, Maguindanao Mayor Ramon Piang Sr.; and Tubod, Surigao del Norte Mayor Cristina Arcilla.

“One of the innovations I could share is our city aid of P2 million per barangay per year,” Mayor Montilla replied when asked to name a good governance practice Tacurong City takes pride in.

“Regardless of the political affiliation of its barangay captain, each barangay is earmarked P2 million.

“From this amount, P1 million can be spent on infrastructure projects such as farm-to-market road, drainage project. The remaining P1 million may be allotted to other needs of the barangay,” she expounded.

Under this scheme, the Barangay Development Council identifies projects and submits project proposals to the City Development Council.
Each year since 2001 LGU Tacurong, which she described as “having the smallest internal revenue allotment in Region 12,” sets aside P40 million for the city aid to the barangays.

Tacurong City has 20 barangays under its jurisdiction.

“Despite having limited budget, we have been generous with the barangays because we want the them to participate in the development efforts. More residents will benefit from the projects because the barangay councils know best what projects are best suited in their respective places,” Mayor Montilla pointed out.

For purposes of accounting, the city government conducts the bidding for the projects as well as manage the monitoring of implementation of these.

Because of this innovation, she added, all 20 barangays have shown improvements.

“Even those with less than P100,000 development fund have developed along with barangays that could afford to fund the needs of their communities,” she said. “Thus, no barangay [in Tacurong City] is left out in terms of development. Most our barangays are now connected to the national highway.”

Tacurong City is comprised of Barangay Poblacion, Buenaflor, Baras, San Antonio, D’Ledesma, Griño, Tina, San Rafael, San Emmanuel, San Pablo, EJC Montilla, Upper Katungal, Lancheta, Rajah Muda, New Passi, Kalandagan, New Carmen, Calean, New Isabela, and New Lagao . (DEDoguiles-Philippine Information Agency 12)