For best experience, use Nutshell app on your smartphone.
6:30 pm on 4 October 2022, Tuesday
By Glen Jacob Jose
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos Jr. raised three key points to help resolve the pressing concerns the governors face in their respective jurisdictions.
This was pointed out during the Second General Assembly of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) held in South Cotabato last Sept. 30 where Abalos was the keynote speaker.
During the event, the governors asked for guidance regarding major issues, prompting Abalos to lay down the significant points to guide them in their predicament.
In response, Abalos stated that their respective Regional Development Councils should be strengthened to determine the national projects and align them with the local development directions.
He also pointed out for them to expedite “the enhancement of Executive Order 138 on Full Devolution and to step up the Covid-19 immunization program in provinces where the coverage remains low.’’
Likewise, Abalos urged all the governors to come up with their respective proposals for the Local Government Code Amendments for consolidation and presentation to a special joint body composed of the DILG, the Senate and the House of Representatives respective Committees on Local Government created to fast track legislative actions to amend R.A. 7160.
On the other hand, the governors discussed key concerns such as the need for greater vigilance, especially by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), to ensure that jails are not used as venues of illegal drugs, implementing existing laws and policies on prior consultation with the local chief executives (LCEs) on key appointments by the national government to the LGUs such as the police directors, current challenges in the completion of the Conditional Matching Grant to Provinces (CMGP) projects whose implementation were disrupted due to the pandemic.
“Taken up during the meeting was the report of and recommendations made during the first meeting of the LPP Committee on Agriculture, headed by Isabela Gov. Rodolfo Albano III, on the strategies that rice-producing provinces may take to increase local productivity and ensure food sufficiency in line with the President’s priority for agriculture and food sufficiency,’’ the LPP noted.
In his message, LPP national president South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo maintained that “that now is the best time for LGUs to have a bigger voice in the administration of President (Ferdinand) Bongbong Marcos Jr., who was a former full-term governor himself.’’
The LPP chief asserted that this is attainable “through a show of unity among all governors and provinces to push for national development, by getting out of the box and showcasing each other’s good practices and consider them for replication so that greater attention be given to LGUs.’’
Tamayo has strongly pushed for the executive department to allocate at least 20 percent of the National Expenditure Program to development projects proposed by the LGUs.
Further, Tamayo said his administration plans to encourage other governors to host the succeeding general assemblies in their respective provinces, allowing them and neighboring provinces to share their governance initiatives and innovations.
Apart from presenting the best practices of the Province of South Cotabato, the governors were also allowed to visit key destinations there, such as the first of the seven Falls of Lake Sebu, a cruise along Lake Sebu, and a view of Mount Matutum.