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108“Next year we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Local Government Code and the launching of this dialogue is a good step towards bringing in the messages of unity, as well as the message of collaboration as we also strengthen the capacities of the local governments, in due time more programs and projects will be implemented in the local level,” said Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto in the “#ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal” dialogue attended by governors and heads of the local government leagues from the regions of Central Visayas and the newly formed Negros Region.

The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), the umbrella organization of all the leagues and elected officials in the country, convened the local government heads, for the Regional Dialogues of the “#ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal” advocacy in Quest Hotel, Cebu City on December 11, 2015.

Provincial Governors, and heads representing League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) and the Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB) gathered and attended the dialogue for the policy and program advocacies that draws national and local action towards realizing the principles of the Local Government Code.

The Code, passed in 1991, provided for local government autonomy, decentralization, meaningful devolution, and empowerment of local governments and their communities. In preparation for the 25th year anniversary of the Code in 2016, ULAP developed the #ParaSaBayan advocacy to open spaces for consensus-building and collaboration among local governance champions.

The #ParaSaBayan advocacy, through gathering commitments of the local government heads, pushes for the principle of performance measurements coupled with incentives and capacity-building; local fiscal reforms in key service delivery areas such as health, education, local economic development, and evidence-based policy making through technologies; and participatory governance.

Present during the dialogue are Governor Alfonso Umali Jr. of Oriental Mindoro – President of ULAP, Governor Edgar Chatto of Bohol, Governor Ruel Degamo of Negros Oriental, Governor Zaldy Villa of Siquijor, Mayor Mei Ling Quezon – LMP Siquijor, Siquijor, Mayor Dean Villa – LMP Larena, Siquijor, Mayor Bentham Dela Cruz – LMP President of Negros Oriental, Board Member Romulo Cepedoza – LNB President of Bohol, Engr. Ernie Mapa (representing Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. of Negros Occidental) and Mr. Benigno Christopher Lucero (representing Governor Hilario Davide III of Cebu).

Also present are ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce, Assistant Secretary Maxine Tanya Hamada and Director for Meaningful Devolution Karen Villanueva of Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Atty. Ian Kenneth Lucero of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 7 and Mr. George Parilla, Public Sector Lead of Microsoft Philippines.

The dialogue and consultation was followed by a ceremonial signing of the commitment to the #ParaSaBayan advocacy. The commitment, which is signed by the Governors and other participants, pushes for sustainable and institutionalized policies of the current administration on performance measurements and incentive system for local government units. Moreover, the local governments commit to conduct information dissemination of the advocacy down to their barangays, provide policy lobbying to the national government agencies and foster program partnerships with civil society organizations and the private sector.
Governor Umali thanked all the Governors, Mayors and Barangay Captains who attended the said dialogue and reiterated that the support and commitment from the local governments must be done to achieve the goal of the advocacy.

Mayor Villa also thanked ULAP for conducting the #ParaSaBayan dialogue. “We would like to thank ULAP for really pushing for a meaning devolution. Without ULAP, the local governments will do not have a voice, so definitely all the stakeholders will be supporting and committed to come up with this meaningful devolution, “said Mayor Villa. (translated from Bisaya)

Lastly, Governor Chatto recognized the efforts of the current administration and all the players, especially in the national level, for capacitating the local governments.

The dialogue is the second of a series of consultations led by ULAP. The activities will cover all regions in the country, with the objective of translating the advocacy to commitments from the local governments, and response from national government agencies. The gains of the advocacy will be reported in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Local Government Code in October 2016.

For more information and further details about the advocacy, please contact:

UNION OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES c/o Executive Director Czarina Medina- Guce
Unit 2803 Summit One Tower, 530 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City
Tel: (02)718-1812, 717-1810, 534-6787
Fax: (02)534-6789
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Website: www.ulap.net.ph