The Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through the Center for Governance (CFG), recently executed the fourth installment of its highly anticipated Talk Points webinar series for 2023.  Themed “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Participatory Governance in Action,” the event unfolded under the Senator Tolentino Adaptive Governance and Innovation for Local Executives (AGILE) Program, leaving mark on the landscape of leadership and governance.  It was conducted via Zoom platform and live streamed through the Local Governance and Development Office (LGDO) Facebook Page on September 29, 2023.  

(L to R) The AGILE Talk Points webinar’s resource speakers and host during the open forum: Ms. Diana Rosapapan-Francisco, Mr. Jose Mari Oquiñena, Mr. Elmer S. Baldemoro, and Ms. Michiru Tamanai.

Drawing an assembly of over 170 local government leaders, the webinar was graced by the presence of local chief executives (LCEs), key functionaries, and key technical staff hailing from diverse localities across the country.  The congregation breathed life into the core mission of the event: to equip local government units (LGUs) with the essential knowledge of inclusivity, transparency, and adaptability.  It also aimed to empower citizens and ignite their passion to actively participate in decision-making processes to forge stronger and more resilient communities.

One aspect of this event was the valuable insights imparted by the distinguished resource persons: Ms. Michiru Tamanai from Lotus Global Advance Pte. Ltd., and Mr. Jose Mari Oquiñena from Linkorp, Inc. Ms. Tamanai’s international perspectives added a global context to the discussion, enriching the participants’ understanding on participatory governance while Mr. Oquiñena’s  discussion delved into methods engaging citizens in consultations and community planning, shedding light on the significance of the entire process.  Furthermore, the participants had the privilege of gaining priceless takeaways from the experiences of the Local Government of Naga, as shared by City Administrator Mr. Elmer S. Baldemoro, who highlighted the impacts, challenges, and innovative strategies that have characterized the city’s approach to citizen participation.

A central theme that reverberated throughout the event was the importance of dynamic leadership in the promotion of citizen participation as a cornerstone of governance.  The resource speakers emphasized the role of people in co-governing alongside local public servants, underlining the significance of bridging the gap between leaders and citizens.  They stressed the idea that the path to successful implementation of leadership and governance is filling the gap rather than merely building a bridge. This perspective opens up new vistas of collaboration and engagement between those who lead and those who are led.

Looking ahead, the Talk Points sessions of the AGILE Program are set to culminate with their final installation on October 19, 2023. The forthcoming webinar, titled “Bata, Bata: Ligtas at Malaya Creating Child-Friendly Spaces Beyond the Four Walls,” will delve into the vital topic of child-friendly spaces. It is accepting registrations from interested participants from LGUs, specifically the LCEs, key functionaries, and technical staff. For more updates regarding AGILE activities, interested participants may reach out via email at