LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Governance will be more efficient if the people are involved in the planning and implementation of programs, Camarines Sur Congresswoman Leni Robredo said here.

Robredo said this during Wednesday’s dialogues with barangay officials and civil society members, and later with members of the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) in Pangasinan at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center gymnasium.

Robredo said she wants to replicate the governance initiated by her late husband and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo, who turned the society in Naga City from one that was critical to collaborative one.

She said “Kung bawat tao iniisip na parte sya ng solusyon, mas magiging mahusay ‘yong governance.” (If every person thinks he is part of the solution, governance will be better).

The congresswoman added that the constituents should not only be considered as beneficiaries but partners in the development of the society.

In Naga City, she said that during the term of her husband, the City was upgraded from fourth class to first class due to the collaboration of all sectors.

This was through the partnership of the government with the ordinary people as evidenced by programs that provided voice to the people, she said.

She cited that the city established the Naga City People’s Council that ensured the involvement of the civil society in development planning.

“We don’t have airport and other amenities but Naga moved up because we gave voice to every ordinary citizen,” she added.

Other programs initiated in Naga City which she would like to duplicate in the country include the full disclosure policy, citizen’s charter, people participation in the preparation of budget bill – all of which aim at empowering people.

She said she would also continue other existing programs which were started by her husband such as the Seal of Good Housekeeping, now the Seal of Good Local Governance upholding transparency and efficiency among local government units.

Robredo said her visit was to present herself not just as the widow of her husband but as public servant in her own right.

When asked about her relatively short experience as a politician, she said that she previously worked at the Public Attorney’s Office and later as a lawyer of a non-government organization promoting the rights of the urban poor and other civil societies for more than 10 years.

This too was public service, she said.

Robredo was welcomed by Governor Amado Espino Jr., Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., Cong. Leopoldo Bataoil, Board Member Amado Espino III and other local officials. JOHANNE MARGARETTE R. MACOB/PNA