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“The national government, especially the DILG and DBM, with the help of Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), have worked for the strengthening of the local governments through different programs such as BuB for cities and municipalities and KALSADA. And we, the LGUs, must do something to sustain these programs and it is within our hands to make these successful,” said Governor Alfonso Umali, Jr., ULAP President, during one of the Regional Dialogues of the “#ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal” advocacy, organized by ULAP, the umbrella organization of all the leagues and elected officials in the country.
The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) convened the governors and heads of the leagues for the Regional Dialogues of the “#ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal” advocacy in regions MIMAROPA, Central Visayas and the newly formed Negros Region, and CARAGA.
The #ParaSaBayan regional dialogues were conducted in the following cities: Puerto Prinsesa City on November 22 for MIMAROPA, Cebu City on December 11 for Central Visayas and Negros Regions, and Butuan City on December 16 for CARAGA.
Provincial Governors, and heads representing League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), 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.
Present during the MIMAROPA Regional Dialogue are:
• Governor Mario Gene J. Mendiola of Occidental Mindoro
• Governor and ULAP President Alfonso Umali, Jr. of Oriental Mindoro
• Governor Eduardo Firmalo of Romblon
• Acting Governor Romulo Bacorro of Marinduque
• Mayor Lucilo Bayron of Puerto Princesa City
• OIC James Fadrilan of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region IV-B, and
• Atty. Jefrie Sahagun, representative of Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez.
For Central Visayas and Negros Regions, 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 Assistant Secretary Maxine Tanya Hamada and Director for Meaningful Devolution Karen Villanueva of Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Atty. Ian Kenneth Lucero of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 7.
Meanwhile, present during the CARAGA Regional Dialogue are:
• Gov. Edward Adolf Plaza of Agusan del Sur
• Councilor Kirk Asis - ULAP Assistant Secretary General and President of National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL)
• Czarina Medina-Guce – ULAP Executive Director
• Mayor Enrico Corvera of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte
• BM Benjamin Lim - LNB President of Agusan del Norte
• Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion of DILG CARAGA
• PPDC Merlinda Baure of Surigao del Sur (representing Governor Johnny Pimentel)
• Mr. CPDC Aprodecio Alba of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur (representing Mayor Librado Navarro) and,
• Asst. City Budget Officer Mila Busico of Butuan City (representing Mayor Ferdinand Amante, Jr.).
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.
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.
The dialogue is 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.
The #ParaSaBayan dialogues is in partnership with Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee, United Nation’s RePubliko programme, and Microsoft Philippines.