The annual Dagyaw: Open Government and Participatory Governance Town Hall Meeting was rolled out in the National Capital Region on November 15, 2022 at the New Coast Hotel, Manila.

Bearing the theme, Likás-Kaya: Kalinga, Kaligtasan, at Katatagan sa Pandemya (Fostering Multi-Sectoral Convergence through Social Accountability), the town hall meeting was conducted to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration in tackling cross-cutting issues in the country’s transportation and education systems, disaster risk resilience, and post-pandemic recovery.

The town hall meeting was attended by members and representatives of civil society and the basic sectors of society.

DILG-NCR Regional Director Maria Lourdes L. Agustin, CESO III, who welcomed the participants to the event, underscored the importance of their participation, saying, “your active participation allows us to reflect on how we can better address issues and challenges at the local level and create conducive opportunities for collaboration in terms of policy formulation, program convergence, and strategic actions,” she said.

The first part of the town hall meeting focused on the state of the public transportation system in Metro Manila. Engr. Joshua Joseph R. Rodriguez of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) discussed the impact of COVID-19 on public transportation; he also presented the programs and projects of the national government intended to deliver reliable, safe, and sustainable road-based public transportation.

In reaction to Engr. Rodriguez’s presentation, “Move As One Coalition” Coordinator Kenneth Isaiah I. Abante provided his group’s recommendations, including the need to shift transport demand to active transportation such as walking and cycling. He also cited the need to provide social support to transport workers affected by the pandemic and oil price hikes.

On the subject of the post-pandemic recovery of public education, Department of Education (DepEd) Chief Education Supervisor Jennifer F. Vivas presented the Learning Continuity and Recovery Plan for NCR; to which Mr. Nicholas M. Tenazas of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) responded by stressing the need to return to face-to-face classes as this remains to be the most effective mode of learning.

The last part of the town hall meeting focused on Marikina City’s lessons and plans in terms of public health recovery and disaster risk resilience. Their city health and disaster risk reduction and management officers, Dr. Alberto P. Herrera and Mr. Dave C. David, emphasized the importance of people’s active participation in the planning and decision-making processes. “LGUs must genuinely listen to the people. They know their problems, the solutions, and what’s important,” they said. In response, National Resilience Council Executive Director Silvestre Z. Barrameda, Jr. affirmed the call for a whole-of-society approach in resilience-building. Partnerships and collaborations, he said, harmonize the capacities, resources, and understanding of various organizations to address systemic risks.

In closing, Department of Budget and Management National Capital Region Regional Director Ruby P. Muro thanked the organizers, resource persons, and participants of Dagyaw 2022. Reaffirming the purpose of the activity, RD Muro said, “Dagyaw is not just a showcase of the government’s commitment. It is a sincere dialogue between the people and the government to ensure civic participation in the government’s decision-making and policymaking processes.”

“Dagyaw” is a Hiligaynon term for “togetherness” which exemplifies the value of “Bayanihan”. This year’s NCR Dagyaw was co-organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Information Agency, and National Resilience Council.