N. Samar officials eye more dev’t with cluster approach

Local elected officials of Northern Samar vowed to strengthen the province’s cluster approach to improve the lives of poor families during their three-year fresh term.

During his oath-taking on Sunday, Governor Edwin Ongchuan said his second term as a local chief executive will focus on the cluster approach that has been proven to strengthen coordination and collaboration among concern government offices with similar programs and services.

The approach, he said, aims to provide high impact projects and increase the local budget utilization rate.

The main four cluster approach to development include good governance and institutional development; human development and poverty alleviation; food security and economic development; and peace and resilience.

“I need the help of people in Northern Samar to improve local governance. We will strive to earn the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), by stepping up our cluster approach. We will strengthen our technical assistance to municipal local governments since they have the mandate to directly deliver services to the people,” Ongchuan said in a statement on Monday.

The SGLG is a mechanism of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which institutionalized award, incentive, honor and recognition-based program, aims to boost LGUs’ commitment to continuously progress and improve their performance along various governance areas.

“The cluster approach has helped threshed out issues and concerns of departments in each cluster to set goals to achieve the vision of Northern Samar province,” Ongchuan added.

The strategy, he said, has been instrumental in getting the province out from the list of top 20 poor provinces.

In 2014, Northern Samar was the 4th most impoverished province in the country with a poverty incidence of 61.6 percent and ranked 19th in 2019 with 36.62 percent poverty rate.

Last year, the province graduated from the list of top 20 poor provinces when it logged 30.97 poverty incidence, landing 32nd among the 81 provinces nationwide based on the report by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The elected local officials took their oath as the Northern Samar commemorated its 57th founding anniversary.

On June 19, 1965, Northern Samar became a separate and independent province from the rest of Samar Island by virtue of Republic Act 4221.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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