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I Love Quirino CARAVAN: Bringing government closer to people

‘A government for the people, of the people and by the people’ is a usual mantra of public servants. You can hear this famous line whenever you listen to public officials’ speeches, but how far do they really ‘walk their talk’? 

In Quirino province of Cagayan Valley Region, the provincial local government has been hailed for its unique approach in bringing its services to the people. A collaborative, inclusive and sustainable public service approach - the I Love Quirino CARAVAN. 

Local residents of Mataddi, Nagtipunan, Quirino receive free medicines and vitamins during the medical mission as part of the I Love Quirino Caravan program. ( Photo courtesy: PLHGU Quirino)

The word CARAVAN stands for Comprehensive Approach in the implementation of Relevant and Accessible projects, activities, services Vital for community’s Advancement and Progress through Networking of various sectoral programs. It is a result of the strategic planning done in 2007 with the view of bringing government services closer to the people. 

The practice, which is now in its 11th year, is the flagship program of the provincial government. The provincial government pour millions of funds for development projects and social services that are brought to the communities. For the first semester of 2023, there has already been over P700 million worth of infrastructure projects constructed in 45 barangays. 

The projects along this endeavor include construction of barangay roads, farm-to-market roads, barangay halls and  gymnasiums as well as provision of livelihood projects for the Rural Improvement Clubs, Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, youths and other sectors.

This year, the CARAVAN was made bigger and happier with the inclusion of games and team building activities aimed at strengthening collaborations among the residents and bringing more fun while giving them chances to bring home prizes.

“Through the I Love Quirino “Pinasayang” Caravan, the people especially in the remotest area who rarely visit the provincial government due to distance and financial constraints can now enjoy the services offered by the different partner agencies,” Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said.

“Let us let them feel that they have a government that is willing to listen to their problems  and provide their needs with  the support of the different national agencies and local government units,” the governor said as he acknowledged the participation of some nongovernment organizations and private individuals in the caravan,” Cua added.

The governor further said that through the CARAVAN, the far-flung areas that could only be reached by hiking are now accessible to all types of vehicles through the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Provincial Engineering Office.

“Siasino aya ti mangpanunot nga iti nakasulsulinek nga barangay ket addaan napipintas a kalsada, barangay halls, barangay gymnasiums, health centers ken dadduma pay? Ditoy probinsia tayo laeng, agsipud ta adda panagkaykaysa tayo,” the governor added.

Tooth extraction as part of the I Love Quirino Caravan. (Image from LGU Quirino)

(Who would think that the far-flung barangays already have good roads, big barangay halls, barangay gymnasiums, health centers and other amenities? It is only in our province because of the unity of the people)

Aside from the infrastructure projects and various social services by the provincial government, partner agencies  are also participating in the caravan to offer their programs and services to the grassroots level such as the Quirino Electric Cooperative for its Sitio Electrification Program;  the Department of Trade and Industry for its livelihood programs;  and the National Irrigation Administration for its irrigation and small impounding projects.

The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority also offer its training programs;  the Department of Labor and Employment for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers and other livelihood programs, the Philippine Statistics Authority for its national identification program; and the National Food Authority for affordable rice program. 

The Philippine National Police also conducts anti-criminality information dissemination during the caravan and encourages the public to help maintain peace and order in the communities while the LGBTQIA+ community conducts free haircuts.

The caravan also serves as an opportunity for both the local officials and the community folk to have a dialogue to identify their needs in their respective communities. Barangay planning and consultation are also being done after the provision of services. 

One of the photos taken during the rainy season on October 2022, showing how hard for the farmers to transport their produce to the mainland and be able to sell it. (Photo by ELyke Mabridge)
Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua addresses the audience during the I Love Quirino Caravan in Diffun, Quirino. ( photo courtesy of LGU Quirino)

During the caravan at Barangay Mataddi, a remote barangay in Nagtipunan town, Gov. Cua fulfilled the wish of the residents for concreting barangay roads and as response to the wish of Barangay Treasurer Kyle Matulay who posted in his Facebook account his desire  to have a paved access road in their barangay. 

Upon hearing the announcement of the chief executive, the residents became jubilant like children whose wishes came true through their fairy godfather, some even approached the governor to personally thank him for the project.

Treasurer Kyle said, in a recent interview, the road network is now being surveyed and the residents are now looking forward to the construction of their dream road.

“It will surely improve the life of the Mataddi residents who are mostly vegetable farmers,” he said.

Barangay Captain Jerome O. Gapuz expresses his thanks to the provincial government and national government agencies for the services that they brought to his barangay mates. (Image from LGU Quirino)
Nagtipunan Mayor Hon. Noel Lim commits the full support of LGU Nagtipunan to the I Love Quirino 'Pinasayang' Caravan 2023. (Image by PLGU Quirino)

Meanwhile, Barangay Captain Jerome Gapuz thanked the provincial government for the programs and services that were brought to their barangay and for granting their wish to have a concrete road.

“These projects mean so much to us who are living in far-flung areas,” Gapuz said.

For his part, Mayor Noel T. Lim also has nothing but gratitude to the provincial leaders saying that he has witnessed the transformation of the province, to what and where it is today.

“Our roads were rugged, there were no gymnasiums in barangays and schools were insufficient but because of the diligence of our leaders, the roads and other infrastructure projects were constructed. There’s already continuous  development in our province ,” the mayor said.

Truly, the I Love Quirino Caravan of the provincial government of Quirino is an initiative that is worth replicating for other provinces, a program that promotes inclusive growth and countryside development. (OTB/ TCB/PIA-2/Quirino)

About the Author

Oliver Baccay

Information Officer IV

Region 2

  • Assistant Regional Director, Philippine Information Agency Region 2
  • Graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication 
  • Graduate of Master of Arts in Education, major in English
  • Graduate of Doctor in Public Administration

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