Atty. ANTHONY D WOODEN tested in public service, visionary

>> Sunday, April 28, 2019

Lawyer, teacher and public servant, candidate for Congressman of the lone district of Mountain Province ANTHONY DELSON WOODEN, 54  started public service  in1986 when he became the Sangguniang Kabataan representative among 10 SK of the Province to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Mountain Province.
Since then, Wooden’s political career moved on to being board member of District 2 of the Province for one term from 1998-2001, as vice governor for one term from 2001-2004  and as three term mayor of Tadian from 2010-2019. In between the years, he went to law practice while teaching law subjects at the University of Baguio (UB) and the Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC).
With a strong foundation of experience in government public service, a man of action and vision, Wooden intends to make Mountain Province into Widescoped Optimal Options of Development thrusts which are sustainable and Economically viable for Nation building  (WOODEN) in his legislative agenda.
On socio economic  development of national application,  Wooden forwards the amendment of the local government  code on the inclusion of collections from the Bureau of Customs and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board  (LTFRB) to the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). As it is now, the IRA of LGUs are sourced from taxes but not from the aforementioned sources which rakes in big amounts. Putting these collections to LGUs would surely increase the capacity of LGUs to optimal realization of services for respective  communities.
Supporting livelihood programs through the provision of facilities is a need. For one, the provision of post-harvest facilities such as rice and corn mills for the rice and corn producing town of Natonin, “dapilan” (sugarcane crusher) for sugarcane- producing towns of the Province, processing and trading centers for  locally grown vegetables and other crops. Bauko for one is the vegetable basket of the Province supplying a considerable volume of vegetables to  Baguio and Manila.
Economic development support was noted in Wooden’s performance as mayor with the decrease of  municipal poverty incidence from 36.17% in 2009 to 27.86% in 2013 CBMS data, construction of the Tadian Trading Center cum Bagsakan, establishment of the Tadian Negosyo Center, construction and establishment of the one town one product (OTOP) Store Express at Kayan East, construction of the Municipal slaughterhouse, improvement of various Irrigation systems, provision of various postharvest facilities such as corn/rice mills, ‘dapilan’, coffee processing equipment  and conduct of various farmers and entrepreneurs trainings.
Wooden envisions in his legislative agenda the provision of  irrigation facilities  as the Upper Siffu Irrigation System to service agricultural lands in Paracelis; and viable  irrigation facilities along the Chico River where nearby rice fields are especially found at Sabangan, Bontoc and Sadanga. The presence of these rivers along with other rivers in the Province also serve as potential for people friendly renewable  energy thus the establishment of alternative energy projects.
Watershed protection and legal source of forest products  
Rich in natural resources such as forest products, the people of Mountain Province have difficulty in accessing pine tree lumber however without a cutting permit issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).  Mountain Province being located in a forest reserve and an inalienable and indisposable status being located in a terrain of 18% in slope and over has no titles issued to residents therein for a cutting permit  to be issued as required by the DENR based on PD 705, thus no legal source for forest products. Unless  necessary titles are issued such as the certificate of ancestral land tittle (CALT) processed by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to be used as requirement for the issuance of a cutting permit by the DENR.       
The controversial PD 705 according to Wooden has to be amended to give recognition to traditional and indigenous forest  resources  management and practices  of the indigenous peoples of Mountain Province in what is called “batangan”.
This assertion to add credence on the recognition of indigenous forest resources management systems and practices of the Tadian Batangan by the DENR and NCIP through the Joint Confirmation and Recognition Order No. CAR-STIFRMSP-2010-0001 granted on August 30, 2010 to the indigenous cultural communities of the northern Kankanaey/Applai ethnic group within the 19 barangays of Tadian.
His zeal for ecological protection is hinged on evidentiary performance of the ecological protection of the town’s forests to cite the establishment of the Tadian nursery as source of planting materials, yearly tree planting at the different batangans by the barangays, clans, and institutions. .This to include the aggressive protection and development of Sunnyside watershed which was the subject of fast denudation by the garden activities of some of the people of Am-am and Sayapot that resulted to the issuance of the Temporary and Permanent Protection Order  (TEPO) by the regional trial court of Bontoc; the construction of guard houses at the watershed, watch of hired forest guards and community volunteers, and the filing and follow-up for the cancellation of land titles within the watershed outside of the  alienable and disposable lands.
A  teacher by heart and by deed, Wooden also intends to file bills on the establishment of  national high schools  in strategic areas of Paradi and Dannal national high schools in  Paracelis, Sadsadan in Bauko, Mainit and Maligcong in Bontoc, Alunogan and  Maducayan in Natonin.
Upgrading of  Eastern Bontoc  National  Agricultural and  Vocational School (EBNAVS)- senior high school of  Barlig is aimed to incorporating  academic courses. This to include Bacarri National Trade and Agriculture School  (BNTAS) high school extension into an independent  NHS. This to include establishment of Special Education schools (SPED) for special children and  schools on living traditions in response to the mandate of DEPEd on indigenous peoples education (IPED).
These educational aspirations comes with a track record having established the  implementation of the K to 12 program of DepEd that saw the construction of senior high school buildings in Balaoa and Bunga, Tadian,  Mabalitel-Lubon NHS Annex, and construction of  Tadian Central School open gymnasium. This to include the consolidation of Tadian 1 and Tadian 2 as one Tadian delegation in the provincial sports meet that saw the elevation of the rank of the municipality from the perennial bottom rank to the top 3 rank.  
For one who values education having graduated valedictorian  at  Guinzadan Elementary School in 1977 and cum laude  with degree Bachelor of Seeince in Education (BSED) at  Saint Louis University in 1985, support for the bid of the Mountain Province State Polytechnique College (MPSPC) towards its becoming a university is included in the platform of  government of Wooden  through support in working for the  compliance of  requirements.
Support and establishment of  health facilities  is a priority of Wooden in his legislative agenda.
Upgrading the  nationalization of Bontoc General Hospital is a much hankered  platform including the  establishment and improvement of barangay health stations. As noted, BGH is under the devolved administration of the local government unit  of Mountain Province which depends on the IRA of the Province for its  funding. Its  nationalization shall directly bring BGH into the  administration of  the Department of  Health (DOH) and therefore means the increase and independence of its funding to  deliver better service.
Concern on health  saw the administration of Wooden as mayor of  Tadian on increased prenatal visits from 84% in 2015 to 96.15% in 2017, increased facility based deliveries from 92.49% in 2015 to 97.45% in 2017, sustained 100% immunization of children reaching1 year old, decreased malnutrition rate from 1.77% in 2015 to 1.19% in 2017; increased household with sanitary toilet from 99.47% in 2016 to 99.53% in 2017, sustained 100% household access to potable water supply; completion of the construction of barangay health stations to barangays with incomplete or dilapidated BHS at Cagubatan, Mabalite and Banaao, construction of 5 BHS to sitios Labnakan, Maket-an, Ilang, Madange and Pasnadan, upgrading of Masla BHS, Lubon BHS and Lenga BHS into Birthing facilities, and construction and establishment of the Municipal birthing clinic.
During  Wooden’s  chairmanship to the  Sabangan-Bauko-Tadian (SABATA) Inter-Local Health Zone (ILHZ) or District Health System (DHS) saw the implementation of the SABATA ILHZ or DHS was institutionalized through an ordinance. Joint Municipal Ordinance No. 01 s. 2013 was adopted by the Municipal Sanggunian of the Municipalities of Tadian, Bauko and Sabangan institutionalizing the SABATA ILHZ otherwise known as the “Sabata Health Og-Ogbo”. The joint ordinance includes the coverage of the DHS/ILHZ to be the Municipalities of Tadian, Bauko and Sabangan, Organizational Structures, Bodies (Board and TWG) functions, and meetings, Funds and Sources of Funds that covers the P20,000.00/Municipality to serve as administrative fund, and P300,000.00/municipality as Og-ogbo fund to form as aid to the 3 municipalities for the improvement of health services.
Infrastructure is direly important in the provision of services for communities thus the need to  facilitate funding of  priority  infrastructure  projects in his legislative agenda such as roads, bridges  flood control  and public  buildings where these are  direly needed  in identified sites of  Mountain Province.
Through Wooden’s coordination with concerned agencies saw the construction of infrastructure  in the improvement of almost all major roads in the municipality  to cite the completion of the concreting of Abatan-Tadian-Kayan-Bulaga Road; concreting of Cabunagan-Tue-Aluling-Bulaga Road, concreting of Guinzadan-Cagubatan-Pandayan-Dacudac-Sayapot-Balili Road through the DOT-DPWH Tourism Road project almost completed up to Sayapot as of 2018, concreting of Tadian-Sumadel-Nacawang-Besao Road through CHARMP2 and DPWH-DOT tourism road project that started in 2018 – Tadian Central School Junction – TSAT section completed; concreting of TSAT-MPSPC Road, concreting of Lt. Marrero road,  Honorio Dominguez road,  Bunga-Gayang road, Bagtey-Namontokan road, Bunga. Balaoa Access road,  Labnakan relocationsite road,  Dacudac-Pasnadan road, Cagubatan-Banaao road, Labayan relocation site road, Masla, Maket-an Road, and Bantey-Abongo Tramline.
And through his coordination with concerned government agencies saw the component through  the Roads Leveraging Linkages of Industry and Trade (ROLL IT) convergence program between DTI and DPWH the conceptualization and approval of proposed projects namely Asdan-Kadso road that started in 2019, Banaao-Lenga-Cadad-anan road in 2019, Lubon-Bilig Road and Masla-Duagan road Nacawang-Mabalite Road through CHARMP2 and ROLL IT that started in 2019.  
Too, road improvements are essential for tourism to cite the approval and Improvement of Guinzadan-Cagubatan-Lenga-Dacudac-Balili via Cagubatan-Banaao tourism road leading to Mt. Mogao, Enchanted eel and Gawaan lake thought the convergence program of DPWH and DOT. Approval and Improvement of Tadian – Sagada via Besao leading to stone frogs of Sumadel and rice terraces of Bantey, Tadian started construction in 2018 at Poblacion, Tadian and adjoining town Besao still on-going.
With many infrastructure projects of this Build Build Build program of President Duterte Administration, Wooden wants to replicate the volunteer and grassroots approach of identifying and implementing projects  of the KALAHI CIDSS.
Ayyoweng Festival
With the leadership of Mayor Anthony D. Wooden saw the institutionalization of the Ayyoweng di Lambak ed Tadian Festival which starts on the second week of February to first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of March of every year through Municipal Ordinance No. 07 s. 2016 with  necessary fund support. This saw the construction and establishment of the tourism information center, construction of Binangi as the indigenous cultural center of Tadian, establishment of Tadian Museum; and establishment of packages that improved the tourism activities of  the municipality.
Bauko in  western  and Paracelis in eastern Mountain Province with  Bauko’s  22 barangays and Paracelis’ 9 barangays, separate wide land areas and population sets the need to create two municipalities each to bring  government closer to the people and boost their  socio economic development according to Wooden.
And in the regional level, Wooden bats  for regional autonomy forwarding emphasis on the  socio economic development of the Province if the Cordillera region achieves an autonomous  government to freely determine is socio-economic development.
Wooden’s father Constancio T. Wooden is from Bauko and Tadian and mother Virginia Delson from Bauko. He married Simona Aglit, a teacher from Tadian and they are blessed with six  children-4 boys and 2 girls- and two grandchildren. Atty Anthony Delson Wooden graduated Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED) from St Louis University in 1985 and  Bachelor of Laws from  Arellano Law School in 1994. 


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