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121The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, the umbrella organization of all the leagues and elected officials in the country, has partnered with the Community- Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Network Office, headed by its team leader, Dr. Celia Reyes in the conduct of the 12th CBMS Philippine National Conference, with the main theme: “Pursuing Meaning Devolution through CBMS”, on February 29- March 2, 2016 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City. Approximately, 670 attendees including national agencies, LGUs, development partners, civil society organizations, academe and private sectors from all across the region in the country gathered together to attend this conference.
One of the highlights of the event is the panel discussion on Meaningful Devolution through CBMS. Invited panelists shared their experiences on the challenges of devolution, their key strategies in addressing them and the role of CBMS for better delivery of services and programs at the local level. Mayor Mariano Martinez of San Remigio, Cebu, who is also the League of Municipalities-Cebu Chapter Treasurer, represented ULAP in the panel discussion. Together with him were Mayor Maria Angela Garcia of Dinalupihan, Bataan, Mayor Allan Gamilla of Bongabon, Nueva Ecija and Valenzuela City 1st District Congressman Sherwin Gatchalian’s representative.
Meanwhile, ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce chaired the Session on Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The session featured presentations and discussions on the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) current program initiative on the global development goals. It also looked into the country’s experience with regards to the millennium development goals (MDGs) and other key initiatives of the national government in line with mainstreaming and monitoring the SDGs. More so, the discussion also touched on indicators and planned data collection for monitoring the sustainable development goals. They were discussed by Dr. Emmanuel Buendia of United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Philippine Country Office, Director Myrna Clara Asuncion of NEDA and Dr. Liza Grace Bersales of the Philippine Statistics Authority, respectively.
According to Dr. Reyes, the 3-day convention aimed to be a venue for information sharing of good practices and innovations in the implementation and use of CBMS, and for mapping new development challenges ahead and corresponding strategies to address them. Aside from pursuing meaningful devolution, the conference also focused on promoting youth development, entrepreneurship and providing social protection to the informal sector.
This event is part of the collaboration effort of the Innovative Technology for Open Government Partnership (ITOGP) Coalition, where ULAP sits as Co-Chair. This is also in support of ULAP’s “#ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal” Advocacy in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Local Government Code (LGC) in October 2016.