HER name is not new among the Sipalaynons (local people of Sipalay). Prior to becoming Mayor of Sipalay in 2019, she served for nine years as Vice Mayor of the city. Her commitment remains the same as reflected on her works: Sustainable GAINS focusing on the needs of her people and the city.

Back in the time when she was a Vice Mayor, Busog Lusog Talino (BLT) Central Kitchen programme was initially started in Sipalay in 2017. BLT Central Kitchen Programme is an aid to provide “free lunch” to school students and supports the School-Based Feeding Programme (SBFP) of the Department of Education to address students’ hunger in the country. This programme has helped students to stay at school and to learn better. The SBFP programme has been started in 2007 and involved various stakeholders such as local government units, donors, civil society, and private sector. The BLT Central Kitchen is aimed to centralise the food preparation to be distributed to surrounding schools with less time and effort. In the inauguration event, the Vice Mayor Maria Lizares said, “the Central Kitchen is not only a government-funded structure for the local government unit, it is a reminder of how the city values education for the young Sipalaynons.”

Since Sipalay is prone to earthquake and tsunami, Mayor Maria Gina M. Lizares puts her attention to the city’s resilience. In July 2019, not long after being inaugurated as a Mayor, she gathered local government staff, barangay officials, partner agencies and organisations to update Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) (the hazard, vulnerability, and capacity maps) of Sipalay City in a Climate Disaster Risk Assessment Workshop. “Updating our CLUP and CDP is a priority. We must not limit ourselves with the term of our officials, and instead think of a long-term vision for Sipalay,” said Mayor Maria Lizares. The CLUP and CDP are renewed every ten and five years respectively to improve city’s land use and development services. In the workshop, she put emphasis on the importance of adapting the city with the times and effects of climate change. Further, she mentioned that actions taken “must be observable, felt and seen, even within just three years.”

Together with the other elected officials of the city government of Sipalay, Mayor Gina dedicates her term in working for the Sustainable GAINS, the executive-legislative agenda for year 2019 – 2022.  Mayor Gina admits that managing a local government unit is not an easy task especially with the multifarious concerns, issues and needs to be addressed. However, she is confident that the City Government of Sipalay will deliver the programmes and services that Sipalaynons need and deserve.

Mayor Gina values the continuity of the best practices from the terms of her predecessors and vows to initiate innovations to advance good governance and well-being of the Sipalaynons. Her administration will focus on participatory governance for the economic, educational, environmental, physical, social and spiritual advancement of Sipalay City through innovative programmes that nurture the existing best practices, but command better quality and efficiency in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating of these government services.

Sustainable GAINS

Goals 2022: 17 SDGs for 17 Barangays
Localise the 17 SDGs to implement research and data-driven programmes for the 17 Barangays of Sipalay City.

Advancement
Priority programmes that focus on the economic, environmental, educational, physical, social and spiritual advancement.

Innovation and Inclusivity
Innovate systems and services that will inclusively promote better welfare of the Sipalaynons.

Amplify the voice and participation of the citizens especially the women, persons with disabilities, children, and youth in co-creating, co-owning and co-leading the government programmes.

Nutrition
Efficient integration of the programmes for nutrition, health and agriculture to improve the implementation of the community-based and school-based feeding programmes.

Safety and Security
Stronger programmes on food security, peace and order, anti-illegal drugs campaign, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and management.

Mayor Maria Gina M. Lizares has also actively promoted Sipalay in various international forums, such as Asia Pacific Mayors Academy, ASEAN Mayors Forum, and World Urban Forum (WUF) 10, during which she took up the challenge of accelerating 17 SDGs by the UN together with other 16 subnational governments around the world, such as Barcelona, Kuala Lumpur, Brussels-Capital Region, Acapulco de Juares, Rostov-on-don, Betio, and Bauang.

Sources:
https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/sun-start-bacolod/20190731/281569472336616
https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/sun-start-bacolod/20171214/281651075454626
https://www.malaysianews.net/news/264169095/sipalay-city-commits-to-fast-track-sdgs
https://businessmirror.com.ph/philippinesgraphic/2018/07/22/jollibee-group-foundation-continues-support-for-nationwide-school-based-feeding-through-busog-lusog-talino-kitchens-and-food-safety-standards/
Sipalay City Executive – Legislative Agenda 2019 -2022

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