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FEATURED FELLOW

"Ang gobyerno pala, hindi lang ang mga elected officials o yung mga nasa posisyon; kasama pala ang tao. Napakahalaga na ma-involve natin yung mga tao dun sa desisyon na ginagawa ng isang LGU."

Vice Mayor Galang of Floridablanca, Pampanga
Without empowered citizens, no matter how much skilled the leader in the position is, it will be hard for them to achieve development because the people themselves are not participating in the programs and projects the officials are implementing. This is what Vice Mayor Michael Galang of Floridablanca has been advocating as a leader--people empowerment and participatory governance.

It is a tough fight to stand with your advocacies and produce projects in line with those, since not all projects are being approved by the mayor. These are the times when he is starting to doubt if he really is in the right job. He becomes frustrated because he knows he has good intentions for his municipality but he’s being hindered in realizing his vision for Floridablanca because of difference in political affiliations. When he became a YLGG fellow, he began to have other perspective with regards to the opposition. “It was then that I realized political maturity. I started hearing the side of the opposition, [understanding] their points. The way I handle opposition [made] me a better public servant,” Vice Mayor Mike said.

 

Aside from political maturity, he observed that he became more people-oriented while he was under the YLGG program. Before, he believed that since he’s young and aggressive, he’ll definitely make a change in his municipality given all the projects he had in mind; but YLGG made him realize that “tama maging agresibo, pero mas malaki ang impact kung isasama mo ang tao sa bawat programa, sa bawat proyekto na gusto mong ipahatid sa iyong bayan (nothing’s wrong with being aggressive but there would be bigger impact if you will involve the people in every program).”

 

In line with his advocacy on youth empowerment, he proposed the Aeta Youth Summit to YLGG. According to him, it seemed like the Aetas in Floridablanca were being left behind in development, especially in having access to quality education. He hopes to give voice to the Aeta community and to share awareness to the non-Aeta constituents about their plights. Vice Mayor Mike plans to hold Aeta Youth Summit in the first quarter of 2019.

- Vice Mayor Michael "Mike" L. Galang

   (Floridablanca, Pampanga)