Senator Edgardo J. Angara has challenged local government officials to lead by example by focusing on three important areas of development, namely environment, water and sanitation, and food.
“I encourage our local leaders to push for programs aimed at addressing environmental challenges, food security and water supply,” said Angara in his message at the MOA Signing and Launching of “The Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines (TOCP)” on Thursday.
“Climate change has become one of the greatest challenges to human development. If this is not addressed, it would have serious negative consequences for the country’s sustainable development. We need leaders who can respond to these challenges,” said the veteran lawmaker.
He also underscored the need to prioritize the implementation of water and sanitation projects to meet the people’s needs for safe drinking water and sanitation, especially in the poorest and waterless municipalities. “Thirty-four percent of Filipinos have no access to potable water that’s why we have a high incidence of water-borne diseases.”
Angara, who recently attended the CleanEnviro Summit in Singapore, shared that the city-state drinking water to its people with the help of technology. “We should not be deprived of our right to clean, safe and adequate water.”
Another area of concern, he said, is food. “The undernourished make up 37 percent of our population. Students’ growth and formation will be stunted if we will not provide the right kind of food they need. Our local leaders, therefore, should heed this call and raise food productivity in their own locality.”
The TOCP, awarded every three years, is now on its third search. The award was established in 2006 through the partnership between the Office of Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, the JCI Philippines, and the Philippine Councilors League.
Angara has pledged to provide a P1.5 million grant for each of the 10 winners of this year's search. Awardees will be announced in March 2013.
Previous TOCP awardees were Quezon City Rep. Jorge “Bolet” Banal, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, Edwin Piano of Olongapo City and Roman Melliza of General Santos City. (30)