Press Release
July 12, 2012


In continuing support for exemplary local leaders, Senator Edgardo J. Angara has once again pledged to provide the 10 awardees who will be named The Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines (TOCP) with a P1.5 million grant each.

Angara formalized his pledge today during a Memorandum of Agreement signing ceremony with the officials of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines and Philippine Councilors League (PCL), organizers of the TOCP.

Those who signed the MOA with Angara were JCI Philippines National President Ivan Randolf A. Ruste; JCI Philippines National Project Chairman Pacifico M. Maghari III; PCL National President Venesa "Alma Moreno" L. Salic; PCL National Chairman Alan D. Zulueta; PCL National Executive Vice-President Ronald P. Carcellar; and Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo "Sonny" M. Angara, a member of the JCI Philippines.

"I believe the TOCP Award is an effective way of strengthening local governance and incentivizing good local governance," said Angara. "If political controversies make it to the news, then more so should the efforts of our local legislators to make public service delivery more effective and responsive."

Of the P1 million grant to each of the 10 winners, Angara explained, "We do not want to give out just a symbolic award, but rather a prize that will be genuinely instrumental in community development."

The TOCP Award is given to local legislators who have exhibited outstanding leadership and who have made significant contributions toward improving the local legislative process and governance.

Councilors who have demonstrated vigor, social responsibility, innovative approach in tackling local problems, and pro-activeness in offering solutions are eligible for nomination.

"Local leaders are more attuned to the pulse of the people than national leaders. Our people turn to you first in times of need and crisis, as well as in times of success and triumph," Angara said.

Angara also recognized the vital role of local leaders as a "bridge" between the people and the government. He stressed that the winners of TOCP are models of excellent citizen-centered public service.

"National leaders focus on the big picture, so to speak, which is undoubtedly important. But local leaders ensure that what we do at the national level is relevant and beneficial to our citizens at the micro level," he added.

The younger Angara recognized the significant role played by local leaders in nation building. "Local officials are on the frontlines and, therefore, are in the best position to introduce change in the lives of their constituents. With these awards we raise the bar for a more accountable, transparent, just, efficient and effective government."

The TOCP, awarded every three years, is now on its third search. The award was established in 2006 through the partnership among the Office of Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, the JCI Philippines, and the PCL.

The MOA signing launches the search and nomination process. 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.

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