The results of the just-concluded barangay polls are most likely known by now and as the winners rejoice in their victory, here are some friendly tips or advise so they can make a difference in their respective areas. Here are projects they can adopt if they have not included them in their list:
- Clean and Green project. It is always refreshing to see patches of greenery in the neighborhood. Barangay officials should encourage residents to go into gardening no matter how small their area is. Pocket gardens are easy to do especially if officials have them in their barangay headquarters. Officials may give out plant seedling to each household if they can and hold a greenest and cleanset street project. Talking about cleanliness, this is very basic and one project can be the prohibition of pet owners leaving their pet’s waste on the road. Owners should be required to always pick up the waste of their pets and dispose them properly. Violators should be penalized. There should also be penalties for littering on the road.
- Road Safety. Safety begins at home and in barangays. Officials may conduct a road safety awareness campaign among residents. Motorists should always be reminded to respect pedestrians and pedestrian lanes. They can put up signages in major intersections for vehicle owners to stop and give way to pedestrians. In most places in the country, motorists have no respect for pedestrians and other road users like cyclists and people with disability. Officials should prioritize strict implementations of road rules and observance of road courtesy.
- Parking is and has always been a major concern in our growing communities but barangays should put an order to the practice of the neighbors parking their vehicles right at the corner of the streets making it difficult for other motorists to maneuver their way into or out to a street. No parking signages should be painted on the pavement or on the sidewalks of no parking zones. These should also be monitored all the time by the ‘tanods’ or the chairman himself. I know one barangay kagawad who operates nine jeepney units and he parks them in their narrow street and in another wider street where he double parks his jeepneys. Of course, he did not get my vote. Barangays should ask people like this to look for and rent a vacant lot to park their vehicles.
- Barangays should also take out or tow junk vehicles that have been on the road for years. They are not only eyesores, they also serve as ‘homes’ for rats and cockroaches.
- A bigger project can be the construction of steel parking structures. This would require the persuasive power of the chairman who should talk to owners of vacant lots so these can be used for parking. Lot owner should be assured of income from rentals for a certain number of years. Project will also create jobs such as security guards and parking personnel.
- Peace and Order. Because of the growing population, it is hard to monitor what is happening in most streets. Aside from putting up CCTV cameras in strategic locations, barangay security should also be physically visible. Barangays should have tanods who ride motorcycles or better still bicycles when doing street patrols especially at night. Residents should be made to feel that their barangays regularly work for them.
- Sangguniang Kabataan or SK should also be active in projects that will benefit the community. SKs have been around for decades now but I don’t remember any project that made an impact on the community. One project youth officials can do is the repainting of street names and street signs. Most street names are already faded and need some fresh coating of paint. The SKs can also put up mini arches to welcome visitors in their barangays.
- Sports is another area where SKs can make an impact. A semi-annual or even a quarterly fun run can be organized in the community. Unlike basketball and volleyball where you have limited number of players, fun runs can have wider participation.
These are just but a few projects that can be done in barangay levels and barangay and SK officials will surely get positive feedback from their constituents if they can succeed in these projects.