ZC programs, thrusts honored in 2023 Layag Awards

Five programs spearheaded by the city government of Zamboanga were conferred the badge of governance excellence by the Department of the Interior and Local Government IX (DILG IX) through the 2023 Layag Awards, an awards mechanism acknowledging exceptional governance practices in local government units.

The city’s 911 Local Call Center, the Community Organizing and Organizational Development Among Indigenous Peoples of Sta. Cruz Island and Once Islas, and the Expanded Assistance for Senior Citizens: Octogenarians, Nonagenarians, and Centenarians won the Layag Awards for Excellence in Local Governance for the governance categories of Peace and Order, Tourism, and Citizen Participation, respectively.

Zamboanga City was also conferred special citations for being the Top Performing LGU (HUC) on the Regional Disaster Preparedness Index for its high standards of performance in the area of DRRM, and the Social Protection and Inclusivity Award for its commitment to efficient delivery of basic services to its constituents.

The city’s Sangguniang Panlungsod was likewise honored with the Local Legislative Award as an outstanding Sanggunian in the HUC Category.

Mayor John Dalipe, together with Vice Mayor Josephine Pareja, CDRRMO head Dr. Elmer Apolinario, CSWDO Assistant Department Head Uldarico Fabian, and City Tourism Officer Sarita Sebastian, received the plaques of recognition during the awarding ceremonies Wednesday, October 25, at the Garden Orchid Hotel.

The 2023 Layag Awards was graced by leaders and heads of LGUs and national government agencies in the region who were duly recognized and honored for their exemplary performances in their respective areas of responsibilities.

Keynote speaker DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Marlo L. Iringan acknowledged the contributions of LGUs to the progress of the nation and urged leaders to practice the principles of innovation, resilience, inclusivity, accountability, and collaboration to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing society.

“We have to understand that now more than ever, we must adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities. We must craft a new social contract that is built on the principles of innovation, resilience, and responsiveness. But more importantly, we must have the courage to embrace this transformation and the change that goes along with it,” said Usec. Iringan in his video recorded message.

Meanwhile DILG IX Regional Director Paisal Abutazil urged LGUs to persistently pursue excellence and to set higher standards for public service as part of the continued efforts of government to better serve its people.

“This evening stands as a reminder that the path to advancement is an ongoing journey, and as a collective, we must continue progressing together. Our LGUS have acted as a driving force behind our region’s progress, pushing us forward even when confronted with challenges,” said Director Abutazil. The 2023 Layag Award formed part of the celebrations for the 32nd Local Government Month, an annual commemoration of the enactment of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991. (Jasmine Mohammadsali)