Part 1 of 10: My proposed first 10 Days – Visioning and Onboarding, Strenghtening Stakeholders to Ensure Good and Results-Centric Govenance
Change is inevitable. Apparently in Bacolod, the current administration repeatedly insists “We don’t need change.” A repetitive campaign slogan that many swallowed hook, line and sinker.
From the side of the public, the dangerous thinking of not needing change is fanned by an almost debilitating belief that all politicians are the same. Hence, whoever sits will never change anything. Everyone is rotten. We are all looped like hoops in a string. That the system is rotten so everyone should might as well take the money and forget what happens tomorrow. Well guess what, I refused to be classified. I do not easily follow patterns, neither do I fall for fads.
My theory (and many will brush it aside as simply that) is change is a must. To improve from Point A to Point B is change. Sadly, this city has no room for proper discussion except the usual mud-slinging we all expected to witness during the campaign period. Although I tried my best to present all the stategies and ideas for seven months, the same was drowned by the noise and frenzy of political exercises. The intellectual (mostly non-functionals) called us clowns in a circus – they were simply too good to even care about what politicians say. On one hand, the poor masses looked at us like messiahs. In the end, the more potent potion was the smell of crisp peso bills.
Nonetheless, the most important battle is the battle we fight inside us. When we look at ourselves in the mirror and ask – did I fail? For me failure is relative. More often in life – you either win or you learn. In my case, I learned a lot. I have improved my ability to stand in the crowd without losing myself. I know what I want to do and I know why I want to do it. My mission is to see that changes happen in this city. I failed in getting the chance to do it – but I did not fail in making a stand, up to the end.
This is my first 100 days plan based on the platform I presented to the People of Bacolod. Since the election is now over and I failed in my bid, I am simply sharing this for academic purposes. As the current administration says we don’t need change. So be it. Hence this piece is for other mayors of other cities, who may want to use the ideas in this article as reference. So please indulge me, after all this is just an academic piece, and for the jaded eyes, a rant. (But I would appreciate permission before use.)
Day 1 – Present and explain in detail in clear, precise and concise terms the VISION – what and where Bacolod will be on June 30, 2022: A smarter, stronger, humane and inclusive city of the future. I will share the goals in terms of numbers (how many jobs to generate, what roadmaps to prepare, what are the systems to put in place or to improve, if existing) Outline and explain the MISSION – what are the major objectives in the key areas (business and commerce, health and environment, local governance, culture and values, among others). Gather initial suggestions and empower both public and private sector leaders in achieving the vision.
Day 2 – Initiate an Organization Development (OD) Process to revisit, review and strengthen the work ethics and organization culture of city government employees to improve and professionalize delivery of public service.
Organization development (OD) is the study of successful organizational change and performance. OD emerged from human relations studies in the 1930s, during which psychologists realized that organizational structures and processes influence worker behavior and motivation. More recently, work on OD has expanded to focus on aligning organizations with their rapidly changing and complex environments through organizational learning, knowledge management and transformation of organizational norms and values. Key concepts of OD theory include: organizational climate (the mood or unique “personality” of an organization, which includes attitudes and beliefs that influence members’ collective behavior), organizational culture (the deeply-seated norms, values and behaviors that members share) and organizational strategies (how an organization identifies problems, plans action, negotiates change and evaluates progress). (Source: Organizational Development Theory)
Day 3 – Create and meet with various key task forces in the city, such as but not limited to to:
Cluster 1: Road, Traffic, Disaster and Risk, and Security and Safety management Task Force
Cluster 2: Housing, Drainage, and Social Services Task Force
Cluster 3: Environment, Health and Sanitation Task Force
Cluster 4: Infrastructure, Business Environment and Talent Development Task Force
Cluster 5: Values, Governance, Transparency, Accountability, and Citizen’s Participation Task Force
Cluster 6: Tourism, Hospitality, Heritage, History, Arts and Culture Task Force
Cluster 7: Sectoral Development and Empowerment Task Force
Cluster 8: Barangay Empowerment and Development Task Force
Cluster 9: Legal, Contract and Ordinances Review and Implementation Task Force
Cluster 10: Digital Services and Automation Projects Task Force
Each cluster shall be given concrete timeframe to review current situation, identify problems and challenges, recommend strategies and solutions to address these. They shall be encourahged to create sub-clusters to address specific areas of concerns.
Day 3 – Review OD reccomendations from Day 2 and act on necessary changes to improve organizations efficiency.
Day 4 – Meet with all department heads to drill down the vision and get more ideas.
Day 5 – Create sectoral desks to address concerns of each sector.
Day 6 – Meet with and present vision to all barangay officials and gather more ideas and solutions. Identify specific priority projects for each barangay.
Day 7 – Meet with Sanggunian Panlungsod members and listen to concerns of each Commitee. Identify and review ordinances that urgently needs to be implemented. Identify proposed ordinances that are necessary for Bacolod. Outline various support needed by each committee. Create the LEDAC (Legislative Executive Developmemt Agenda Committee) to initialize discussion for an Executive Agenda to be merged with a Legislative Agenda to create the ELA (Executive Legislative Agenda)
Day 8 – Initialize physical immediate reforms such cost-cutting measures for energy consumption in all local government facilities, strict implementation of solid waste disposal in all public facilities. Digitize files to save space and many other ways to improve flow of air inside the government center.
Day 9 – Meet with key leaders in the private sector and identify various development roadmap for the creation of new business and industries in Bacolod. Address long standing private sector concerns and open the doors for continuing dialogues with the private sector to explore solutions.
Day 10 – Recieve, review, and act upon all recommendations and proposals collated during the first 9 days. The idea is to ensure that all recommendations improve access of ordinary citizens to public services, equitable distribution of support services to all sectors, and facilitate the smooth flow communications between different stakeholders. The first ten days are aimed at strengthening the working relations between various sectors and to but ensure the proper onboarding of all participants to the vision.
Change is inevitable. But whether we change towards disaster or oblivion or change towards higher grounds is another thing. I am hoping the academics who scrutinize public service like a laboratory rat enjoy this piece.
To be continued.
Note: Photo was taken at the Felisa Dumpsite, Bacolod City
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters ” – Colossians 3:23