‘Para sa akin, napapanahon na ang Ugnayang Barangay at Simbahan..itong UBAS para mas mapalakas ang grassroots,’ said Elvira Parreño, 64, an official of one of the Gagmayng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) in Barangay Griño, Tacurong.

Nanay Elvira arrived early at the Tacurong City Cultural and Sports Center on February 26, eager to witness the launching of UBAS with other GKK and the city’s faith-based groups.

‘UBAS as a movement aims to instill the importance of active people’s participation. Sa UBAS, ang pakikilahok natin ay magiging mas makabuluhan sa usapin ng pamamahala’ said Director Leocadio Trovela of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-National Barangay Operations Office.

Director Trovela as well congratulated Tacurong for being one of the pioneers of UBAS in Mindanao. Trovela graced the launching on behalf of Secretary of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas.

During the launch, the DILG, Archdiocese of Cotabato, Interfaith Group of Tacurong, and Liga ng mga Barangay signed into a Memorandum of Agreement for the UBAS to officially take effect in the City of Tacurong.

In the MOA signing, Director Trovela represented the DILG; Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo represented the Archdiocese of Cotabato; Bishop David Salazar signed for the Interfaith Group; and Hon. Hernane Fermo represented the Liga ng mga Barangay. Tacurong City Mayor Lina O. Montilla, DILG XII Director Reynaldo Bungubung, City DILG Officer Alberto Sero Jr., the city’s barangay chairpersons, city councilors, Islamic Center representatives, interfaith group leaders, and parish priests of Tacurong, President Quirino, Lambayong, Isulan, and Esperanza witnessed the MOA signing.

Another highlight of the activity was the turnover of the list of approved projects under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) for year 2015 by Director Trovela to Bishop Bagaforo. This is to aid UBAS in monitoring the programs and projects in the community level.

GPB projects were determined and proposed by the Local Poverty Reduction Action Team of the City of Tacurong which is composed of LGU officials and representatives from Civil Society Organizations.

Before the activity ended, attendees signed a replica of the Unity Statement to signify their commitment in sustaining UBAS in their respective communities.

Prior to the launching, UBAS was introduced to the 20 barangay councils and residents in Tacurong during their respective general assembly on October 2014. Also, orientation-seminars were conducted on February 17 and 24 for lay cooperators and members of the GKK.

The late SILG Jesse Robredo initiated UBAS in 2011, first reaching out to archdioceses in the Greater Manila Area. Robredo envisioned a strong partnership between barangay governments, DILG, and the Church to create enabling environment for active people’s participation in the implementation and monitoring of development projects. (LGU-Tacurong City Information)