Councilor Gonzaga awarded as Outstanding Councilor of the Philippines- Regional Winner

Surigao City Councilor Dr. Alice Ensomo Gonzaga has brought honor to the City of Surigao after having been adjudged the Regional Winner for the Caraga Region in the Search for The Outstanding Councilors of the Philippines (TOCP). The award was bestowed on Dr. Ensomo Gonzaga by Sen. Edgardo J. Angara and Junior Chamber International officers during the End of Term Conference of the Philippine Councilors League held at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue City on March 12, 2010.

The TOCP is an annual project of the Junior Chamber International Philippines in partnership with the Office of Sen. Edgardo Angara. It aims to give recognition to exemplary local legislators for their selfless dedication to their solemn oath and their outstanding achievement which significantly benefited their constituents, the community and the nation.

Of the 17000 councilors all over the Philippines, regional winners were chosen for each of the 17 Regions of the Philippines. Of the 17 Regional Winners, 10 were chosen as National Winners and they received a trophy and a million worth of projects from Sen. Angara's Priority Development Assistance Fund. Sen. Angara also promised the remaining regional winners that he would also give them P500,000 in projects.

Dr. Ensomo Gonzaga considers the gift of public service as the most special gift she has received. Working as City Councilor for the last three years - she is happy to fulfill a dream of bringing Primary Medical Care to the residents of Island Barangays by organizing outreach clinics. She is also pleased to be a conduit - brining gifts from those who have more and share these gifts to those who need them most, in the form of used books, toys, clothes and computers.

"Magtanom ta nan kahoy sa ato Batangay" was her main project in 2008 - aiming to plant and grow five trees in every barangay. In the year 2009, a series of Info-Education Contra Cyanide Fishing was her main activity, with support from barangay officials and the Surigao Dive Club, under its president, Mr. Lyndon Cubillan.

A recipient in 2007 of the Most Outstanding Nicolanian Award (MONICA) given by St. Paul University Surigao, her alma mater, she was commended for her work as Physician for 22 years for the Cathedral Charity Clinic, which is a pastoral arm of the Diocese of Surigao.

Dr. Ensomo Gonzaga humbly accepts that her work as Councilor is quite simple and ordinary. Yet it becomes challenging when public issues are raised and must be answered. Described as soft-spoken and quiet, yet she will speak her mind and focus on issues that need attention.

She believes that, "It is in the ordinariness of the things we do that sincere service is recognized. To ask our fishermen of today to stop using cyanide so we could preserve our corals and seas for future generation of Surigaonons is an achievement. To ask young high school students to donate one day to clean up Nueva River will open the minds of our young people to the possibility that they have the power to contribute for the good of our city. To inspire all pupils of Surigao City to study well and achieve their dreams and create a lasting influence; and to ask barangay officials to plant trees and leave a legacy, I consider those an achievement."

Dr. Ensomo Gonzaga considers the sponsorship of ordinances that create marine sanctuaries as her main legislative achievement. She aims to sponsor more ordinances creating Marine Sanctuaries with the help of the local government unit of coastline barangays, the Surigao Dive Club, the Philippine Navy, the City Agriculture and Fishery Office. She will consider this as an extraordinary accomplishment - to help in the protection of our seas and preserve marine life for future generation of Surigaonons. (JC Calipayan)

Surigao Today

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