|Salceda grins from ear to ear as he displays the third Galing Pook Award that his province has received thus far.|
(Photo via Gov. Salceda)
Given under the joint initiative of the Local Government Academy, Department of Interior and Local Goverment, the Ford Foundation and other advocates of good governance from the academe, civil society and the government, the program chooses winners after a multi-level screening process. Its criteria are based on positive results and impact, promotion of people’s participation and empowerment, innovation and efficiency of program service delivery.
"Giving back, equality, unity, and constant kindness," Salceda revealed on Facebook, are the secrets behind Albay's repeated triumph.
"Team Albay believes in being sensitive and open to the evolving individual realities in our community, both local and national, constantly prepared to respond to the challenges while transcending class origins, historical circumstances and differences," he added.
The province won its first Galing Pook Award in 2008 for its Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Programs and its second in 2011 for its Health innovations and programs.
This year, Albay was recognized for its accomplishments and projects in the field of education.
Salceda, who led the team’s presentation, emphasized Albay’s poor performance in educational ranking when he assumed his post. He thus vowed to propel the province to the top of the rankings.
“After 8 years, Albay’s state of education has three banner achievements, from ranking 177th in 2007, Albay leapt to 19 in National Achievement Test rankings in 2012, second, Albay has 98% participation and only .10% dropouts, and third, in the same span of time, college graduate grew from 34,000 to 188,000,” said Salceda.
The governor credited these improvements the different programs that the PGA, through the PED, has established, namely, the Gawad Albay sa Edukasyon, an incentive program to reward and recognize high achieving students, educators, and LGUs, plus the establishment of a support system for students, and for educators.
Salceda also stated that to be able to achieve all of these he had to make a shift in development strategy, “I had to make a tough but easy decision, make a shift from opportunity seeking programs, like infrastructures, to capability building and knowledge banking programs which cannot be destroyed or taken away by typhoon and storms.”
For its education programs, the PGA has so far spent a total of P759,094,954, of P58,200,000 went to the incentive programs, P679,394,954 for programs acting as support system for students, which now has 140,998 beneficiaries, and P22,500,000 for programs acting as support system for educators with 2,088 beneficiaries by far.
The Provincial Government of Albay has put education in a high priority position and has earmarked a large portion of its annual budget for its development.