THE OUTSIDER: In San Narciso, Quezon, raising the bar in Local Governance

“Public service is not just a job, it is a commitment to serve the people with dedication and integrity.”

The quote best describes the dream and hope of every constituent—public servants who will serve with dedication and integrity—and ultimately make a difference in their lives.

For public servants who are elected, performance in office is judged in the polling precincts with the achievers rewarded with another term of office. In the municipality of San Narciso in Quezon province, Mayor Florabelle Uy-Yap ran for re-election in the 2022 elections and won overwhelmingly. She is now on her third term as local chief executive.

The programs and projects she initiated have benefitted constituents of the third-class municipality:

Infrastructure projects were undertaken to generate more employment opportunities and link more barangays and communities in the municipality.  Included in these projects is concreting of roads spanning more than 50 kms with a cost of  about Php 800 million, as well as the opening of new roads.

The local government under Mayor Yap financed the Spring Development Project in 17 barangays to ensure the availability of clean and safe water for household use in these areas. Yap also initiated Paposo sa Sitio, a personal program in response to the needs of sitios and barangays where water is scarce.

To intensify rural electrification, the local government coordinated with the National Electrification Administration and Quezelco that resulted in 1,140 more households with electric service connection. Twenty far-flung sitios were beneficiaries of the Sitio Electrification Program.

Under Mayor Yap, other infrastructure projects undertaken include the construction of 10 covered courts, six evacuation centers, seven multipurpose halls,   five day care centers and the upgrade of the Central Elementary School facilities. Municipal landmarks were installed at Sitio Bangkatan, Barangay Guinhalinan and Sitio Daniwdiw, Barangay Abuyon, both boundaries of San Narciso.

Three health centers were constructed in remote barangays to make rural health services accessible to the residents. Installation of a light house, line canals, foot bridge and hanging bridge are also among the accomplishments of the Yap administration.

Ongoing is the construction of the municipality’s Php 42.5 million convention center with terminal situated at Barangay Buenavista.

The local government’s commitment to improve the productivity of farmers, it distributed farm machinery and equipment to seven farmer associations, free seeds and fertilizers; and made irrigation available in barangays.

Fisher folk were recipients of fishing nets, boat motors and equipment. The local government has a cash for work program for fishermen when fish harvest is minimal. This usually occurs during the prevalence of the northeast monsoon (amihan). It also has a Bantay Dagat program.

The local government is helping out-of-school youth in job placements as it identifies vacancies in companies located in the municipality. It continues to coordinate with different government agencies for the TUPAD program of DOLE. Cash for Work program in San Narciso has logged 5,804 beneficiaries.

In the promotion of social welfare, the local government has programs for senior citizens, nutrition and medical, housing, and education. With an improved database of senior citizens in the municipality, the number of pensioners increased to 2,275 from 750. Burial and medical assistance are ready available to senior citizens.  Free medicines, vitamins and immunizations are given to the constituents. Scholarships are given to students belonging to financially challenged families. Around 2,000 students are beneficiaries of the scholarship program of Mayor Yap. Eighteen families are beneficiaries of house and lot donated by Mayor Yap and her husband.

Following in the footsteps of her parents,  she is giving her constituents the public service they deserve—going the extra mile of sharing what she personally has to people in need. “We should realize how blessed we are and as for me, one of the most important lessons I learned from my parents is to share our blessings.”

The accomplishments of Mayor Yap should inspire other local government officials.

The municipality of San Narciso is one of the 12 municipalities in the Bondoc Peninsula located in the southeastern part of Quezon Province.  It has a land area of 263.58 sq. kms. and 24 barangays. Its geographical attributes make the municipality ideal as an eco-tourism destination.