THE 28th Search for the Ten Outstanding Punong Barangays in Baguio City is on.

An annual program of the Rotary Club of Metro Baguio, the OPB search kicks off in a scheduled launching date on March 26 during the morning program of broadcaster Kap Peter Wasing.

The OPB search will highly consider the continuous efforts being done by the grassroots leaders amid the pandemic caused by the Covid-19.

"The Grassroots leaders are the shining light to their community. They are the first responders," RCMB president Jerry Chan said.

The OPB Awards 2020 criteria for the selection of awardees include the livelihood projects or the establishment and maintenance of cooperative enterprises and other livelihood projects to uplift the economic condition and well-being of the residents which is 10 percent.

The anti-drug campaign including the prevention and eradication of drugs, monitoring and reporting of drug pushers and users, anti-drug abuse seminars for the residents; interventions initiated by the barangay and/or in coordination with government or non-government offices for drug surrenderees is another 10 percent.

The same percentage for peace and order considering the organization of an effective Barangay Tanod, Barangay Risk Reduction Management Council or other community brigades for the maintenance of peace and order, response to emergency, calamity within the barangay, and program on eradication of illegal gambling.

Also included in the criteria is the women and children protection program, 5 percent; establishment of a barangay human rights action center (BHRAC), 5 percent; health and sanitation, 10 percent; environmental protection and climate change,10 percent; katarungang pambarangay/lupon tagapamayapa,10 percent; preparation of the annual budget and development plan, 10 percent; adoption and maintenance of parks/infra projects, 10 percent; monitoring and prevention of illegal structures, five percent; and family background and leadership traits five percent.

The Search Committee will prioritize visiting the barangays recommended by the three offices of the local government -- The Liga ng mga Baragay, DILG Baguio and Office of the Mayor.

The search committee members will conduct an unannounced visit to the barangays and expected to interview the constituents as well.

"This is a salute to dedicated Punong Barangays," Past President Ofelia Villanueva said.

Founded by Past President Carl Estepa, the OPB Awards which is under the Vocational Services of RCMB is a recognition to grassroots leaders in Baguio City truly dedicated in serving the community even without salary.

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