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PIA Press Release

Needy find great help from caravan of services

by Jean D. Abangan

Panabo City (14 November) -- Carrying his 2-month old baby, Rodolfo Salas, 29 years of age, joins the queue of mothers who want to avail of a free medical check-up at the city poblacion.

He wants his daughter be relieved of fever and cough but he has not enough money to bring her to a private doctor.

"Maayo ni nga serbisyo. Dako kaayo ni ug ikatabang labi na sa mga walay kwarta," he said.

A mother of a one-year-old boy, Chistine Brigole, 29 years of age from Barangay Tagpore of this city, takes two rides to reach the medical outreach.

"Pa-check up nako ako anak kay giubo ug hilanat. Wala jud mi kwarta, maayo ni kay libre, dako kayo ni'g tabang sa amoa," she said.

A wife of a limping husband who has had a mild-stroke, Virgenia Cavillar, 55 years of age of New Visayas this city, said she takes time and effort in bringing over to the medical outreach activity his husband so she can ask for free medicine.

"Dako ug gasto sa tambal. Makatabang ni labi na nga lisod kaayo karon sa kwarta," she said.

They were just few of the hundreds who had availed of a "smorgasbord" of services that the RDR WHEELS Caravan of Services Thursday brought to Panabo City where it had its second leg after it was launched at the Island Garden City of Samal on Tuesday.

In his message, Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo P. del Rosario described the caravan of services as his way of bringing and sharing happiness to the people all over the province.

But in a serious sense, he explained the activity as pursuant to reforms in governance which is one of the cornerstones of his development agenda bearing an acronym "RDR WHEELS".

RDR WHEELS stands for road and infrastructure, development of cooperatives in all sectors; reforms in governance, peace and order; water and electricity development; health, sanitation and social services; education, culture, sports and human development; environment protection and rehabilitation; livelihood skills and development program; spiritual and moral recovery.

Citing a definition of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), del Rosario summarized governance as "government interaction with the people."

"We bring you the whole machinery of the Provincial Government today to interact with the constituents of Panabo. You are not separate from the province (of the Davao del Norte)," he said.

Aside from Panabo, the cities of Tagum and the Island Garden City of Samal are component cities of Davao del Norte.

"We are here to interact with you in most convenient and expeditious manner," he added.

From medical, social to agricultural services; legal, engineering, economic and other services, the provincial government has opened doors for the people to directly access them.

Direct interaction of heads of provincial government office to address concerns of the people from all walks of life used to be at the provincial level only, made open through People's Day regularly held every Monday at the Bulwagan ng Lalawigan.

"A semblance of what we are doing in the Capitol, ako nang gidala ang Capitol sa Panabo," Governor del Rosario said referring to the battery of heads of provincial government offices joining the caravan.

Del Rosario is in a way responding to the call of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who prodded local government officials to do away with red tape and reduce transaction costs and make the country more attractive to investors.

The caravan of services may not be solely focused on investment but it addresses government concerns of efficiently "penetrating" areas needing government assistance.

Del Rosario urged the local government of Panabo to replicate the caravan of services but City Mayor Jose Silvosa in a separate interview said his administration had done similar services.

"We have already reached almost all barangays (here) through the Panggobyerno para sa Tawo," he said in dialect.

Silvosa has plans of doing another round of direct service delivery to all barangays of the city next year.

Meanwhile, Silvosa lauded del Rosario for initiating the caravan of services which touches base with all city and municipal governments in the province saying this in a way has changed people's perception of government officials.

"They have their perception of the (provincial) governor. They can now directly talk to the governor no matter how lowly they are," he said. (PIA XI) [top]

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