Capitol Express brings services to the grassroots level

BANNA, Ilocos Norte, July 26–To make the numerous services of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) more accessible to the people, a new pro-poor program called “Manang Imee’s Capitol Express” was launched here yesterday, July 25, almost a month after Gov. Imee R. Marcos renewed her oath of office for a second term.

(Banna Mayor Carlito N. Abadilla Sr. said the launching activities of Capitol Express here was successful noting that many of his town mates, especially those from the rural barangays, availed of the basic services such as medical checkup, treatment and medicines, all free of charge, among other things. My townmates expressed their love and respect for Governor Imee as they thanked her for this laudable project of her administration, the mayor added. -Ed).

‘Manang Imee’s Capitol Express’, the name aptly given to denote advancement, is a program in which existing and future front line projects and programs of PGIN are strengthened and delivered to the grassroots level.

It is in line with Gov. Imee’s commitment to “bring PGIN and its basic services closer to the people for inclusive and sustainable growth of the province”, said Edwin Cariño, head of Millennium Development Goals Office.

On the other hand, Eric Pascua of the Provincial Public Employment Service Office also said “if the people can’t come personally to the Provincial Capitol to seek help, then we, from the Capitol will reach out for them thru Manang Imee’s Capitol Express,”. He added that many of our provincemates in the villages could not avail of the services offered by PGIN due to proximity of their barangays to the Capitol aggravated by no available money for their fares.

According to Cariño, services covered by the ‘express’ are subdivided into three: ‘Jobs and Livelihood’, ‘Tulong’ which caters to education, health, death and burial, barangay requests, legal consultation, social counseling, services for senior citizens and handicapped and ‘Documentation’ which includes the assistance on land titling, and other kinds of application for certification.

The ‘express’ is composed of personnel and representatives of concerned capitol departments or offices. Its task is to either render the corresponding frontline services that can be done on-site such as conduct blood pressure testing or conduct application and assessment in cases where the service requires validation or referral.

After the launch here of the Capitol Express , the next pilot sites are Batac City (July 28) and Pasuquin (August 2), preferably at “busy, open areas such as public markets”, Pascua said.

“Aside from service delivery, Capitol Express also aims to raise the awareness of the people about the several services offered by the Provincial Government,” added Pascua.

Succeeding schedule and activities by the ‘express’ will be determined after the evaluation of the pilot caravans.

“In turn, (PGIN) can also use this program to ask people directly on how to improve more our services, which is one way of involving them in decision-making,” Cariño said.—Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO