The program started in 2001 to turn Opol into a haven for eco-cultural tourism and a sustainable agro-industrial community.
Key word in the program is DEEDS, which stands for: (i) “demayoring,” which Mayor Dixon Q. Yasay describes as “having less people going to the mayor” for help; (ii) education, to sustain development; (iii) empowerment, based on the principle that the more people are empowered the more the opportunities for a holistic development of the government and the community; (iv) development, which is focused on economic well-being of the person; and (v) sustainability, through a massive change in the people’s mindset and their participation in governance.
Management innovations and interventions to implement the program included personnel development (seminars, training, and masteral program in public administration), attendance of management committee in barangay assemblies, weekly quantifiable targets, creation of zonal assemblies for deregulated management, and delivery of services, among others. Since the program, municipal income increased by 59%. Classification of the municipality has been upgraded from 4th class in 2001 to 2nd class. For the first time in years, business tax and licenses collection is already more than 100% of the target for 2004. The number of establishments went up and economic activities flourished.
Cooperatives were reactivated. Malnutrition had been on the decline for the last three years. Crime rate and the number of out-of-school youths had decreased. A high school was opened in the hinterlands. The Opol Community College was also opened to give more opportunities to poor and deserving students. Agricultural production increased in the last four years.
The increased participation of the community indicates a growing democratization. The program and its management innovations and technology are easy to adopt. Some LGUs in Northern Mindanao are adopting some of its concepts.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 2004 Galing Pook Awards.