DILG to barangay execs: Where are your ‘lakbay aral’ action plans?

ILOILO City – Barangay officials who participated in a recent five-day lakbay aral (study tour) in Olongapo City and Bataan province must submit “reentry action plans”, according to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Iloilo City director Roy Defiño.

Organized by the Liga ng mga Barangay city federation, the lakbay aral was from Sept. 3 to 7.

The action plans must be submitted within 15 days after they have returned from the study tour, stressed Defiño.

Barangay captains or councils failing to submit their actions plans won’t be given authorization by the DILG for future study tours, he said.

An estimated 800 barangay officials here (barangay captains and councilmen) participated in the recent lakbay aral.

The city has 180 barangay councils; each council has a barangay captain and seven council members.  For the recent lakbay aral, each has a budget of P30,500.

Defiño said the reentry action plans should contain the barangay officials’ learnings from the study tour and the programs or projects they would introduce in their villages based on their learnings.

DILG would then monitor if indeed the barangay officials are implementing the things stated in their action plans, said Defiño.

In Joint Memorandum Circular No. 02 issued by the DILG and Department of Budget and Management on Sept. 23, 2016, lakbay aral is “a learning journey, exposure visit, or experiential learning which may be initiated or sponsored by local government units (LGUs), national government agencies, civil society organizations, and other organizations and associations for the purpose of enhancing local government capability by  observing best practices, interacting with peers and other appropriate stakeholders, and understanding current issues, alternative solutions and trends in a particular subject matter. It may be conducted locally and internationally.”

LGUs are discouraged from conducting or participating in study tours unless it is shown that:

* the subject matter of the lakbay aral is part of the LGU’s capacity development (CapDev) program which was formulated based on an assessment of actual capacities;

* the subject matter of the study tour is directly responsive to the actual CapDev needs or gaps in the LGU as identified based on the  assessment of actual capacities;

* the subject matter of the study tour is contributory to the improvement of the capacity pillars identified under the LGU’s System on Capacity Assessment for Local Governments and the CapDev Agenda; and

* the subject matter of the study tour cannot be addressed by a more economical mode of CapDev intervention that can be undertaken within the territorial jurisdiction of the LGU, such as but not limited to inviting the resource persons to the LGU.

Accordingly, no study tour shall be conducted or participated in by LGU officials and personnel without prior authorization from the DILG./PN

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