The countdown to two decades of local autonomy in the country has begun as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the support of the different local government leagues and other stakeholders has launched a year-long series of activities to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Local Government Code.
The Local Government Code, which was enacted into law in 1991, set into motion the decentralization of power and authority to local governments and gave them more freedom to manage their own localities.
DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said this year’s celebration entitled, “Celebrating 20 Years of Local Autonomy in the Philippines” with the theme: “Biyaheng Pinoy: Tapat na Palakad, Bayang Maunlad,” aims toheighten the awareness and commitment of the different stakeholders for a genuine and more meaningful local autonomy.
“While we have already made significant gains in championing the cause of local governments, we still have a lot of work to do in terms of maximizing their potentials to the fullest and in addressing the lack of funds to support the devolved functions,” Robredo said.
Highlighting the celebration is the conduct of the Local Governance Policy Forums at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City today (October 18, 2010) where local government officials, representatives from national government agencies and civil society organizations will converge to share their insights and perspectives on different local government development issues and concerns.
Forum topics include the following: Institutionalizing Transparency and Accountability in Governance; Improving Competitiveness in Local Governments; Improving Fiscal Capabilities; Crisis Management; Addressing the Plight of Informal Settlers; Strengthening Collaboration to Address Human Trafficking; and Upscaling Best Practices in LGU.
Expected to make presentations are: Vice President Jejomar Binay on Informal Settlers: A Major Challenge in Governance; Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on the Rising Threat of Human Trafficking: Global, Regional and National Perspectives; Napolcom Vice Chair Eduardo Escueta on Crisis Management Protocols; Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Ensuring Funding for Local Development, among others.
During the affair, the Department will also sign joint directives with some national government agencies on Full Public Disclosure, Schedule of Market Values, Idle Land Tax, and Anti-Trafficking of Women and Children.
As a culmination of the forum, officials of the DILG and local government leagues will have a dialogue with President Benigno S. Aquino III to present to him the consolidated outputs and recommendations for an effective and efficient local governance. ###