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Rellon highlights Tagum’s good, participatory governance in Thailand

PULSEJan 20 20151158Jeric D. Totesora

TAGUM CITY – For the third time in under ten months, the City Government of Tagum audience led by no less than Mayor Allan L. Rellon has been invited to present and defend one of its major programs, which exemplifies good and participatory governance, to the international academic audience.

Jointly funded by the University of Hawaii, the University of Khon Kaen and the International Association of Local Governments (IALG), the IALG Best Practices Case Study Writing Workshop was held on January 11 to 14, 2015 at Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

Prior to this, the City Government of Tagum joined the IALG-sponsored International Case Study Competition where two of its entries—the Night Market of Tagum and its Literacy Programs—were shortlisted, but only the night market program made it to the cut.

During the aforementioned event, the local chief executive discussed the case study entitled “Dynamism of Tagum City Night Market as Fueled by Good Governance and Active Citizens’ Participation” to a set of participants from five ASEAN nations namely Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and other participants from the Philippines.

These participants represented the NGOs, the Academe, the Local Government Unit, the LGU Bureaucracy and the Civil Society of all five countries.

Mayor Rellon stated that he was able to discuss with his fellow participants facts relating to the Night Market as having been established only as a means of relocating the ambulant and/or illegal vendors from the National Highway as well as from other city and barangay streets and have them situated in a common place.

Discussions on the problems and resistance which the city government had been faced with during the implementation of the program, as well as the approaches and measures undertaken by the city government that made the vendors support the Night Market Program were also tackled.

The Case Study, when finalized and submitted in a textbook form, will be published by the University of Hawaii, USA within this year.

“I feel really proud and fulfilled (considering) all the hardships. For (the City of Tagum) being recognized, not only in the country, but also internationally, particularly ASEAN countries”, said Mayor Rellon when asked on how he feels about the City Government of Tagum having once again been invited by other Asian countries to present one of its development programs.

It can be recalled that Mayor Rellon was also invited in two separate international conferences last year. First, by Oxfam and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy last year in Singapore for the city’s programs geared towards disaster resiliency, where Tagum was named as one of Asia’s emerging secondary cities. Few weeks ago, Oxfam also invited Mayor Rellon to discuss about good governance in Vietnam.

All of these international trips are shouldered for free by the inviting organizers. Richi D. Gulle of CIO Tagum

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