How did the Leagues of LGUs evolve in the Philippines?

The passage of the 1991 local government code institutionalized the Leagues as a forum to articulate issues affecting the LGUs and to provide and propose solutions to these concerns.

As early as the 1950s, appointed presidential representatives to local governments  already organized themselves into an organization to push for reforms. The Local Autonomy Bill of 1957 paved for the election of local government officials who organized themselves into a league.  The Barrio Charter recognized the barrio as a unit of local government, thus expanding the organization of local officials.

But with the issuance of Presidential Decree 114 in 1978, the participation of local officials ceased. The Ministry of the Budget was given the sole power to set the level of national support to  LGUs. Eventually, President Marcos reorganized the league of local government officials to support his rule. Along with the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Punong Bayan sa Pilipinas (1976), the League of Governors was formally organized.
Following the EDSA uprising, the League was revitalized by President Aquino through EO 262. This directive provided for the creation of separate leagues – the Leagues of Provinces, Cities and Municipalities.

After the ratification of 1987 Philippine Constitution, the Leagues were formally established with the adoption of its charter in 1988.  The active participation of the Leagues paved the way for the passage of the 1991 local government code which institutionalized the Leagues as a forum to articulate issues affecting the LGUs, and to provide and propose solutions to these concerns.

Since then, the League has consistently demonstrated its vision and mission to promote autonomy, and sternly lobbied against all proposed bills which undermine decentralization efforts. Most recent of which was the collective action by the League against the congressional decision to cut the IRA.

Today, the League has become an effective forum of intervention for local, national and international policies and programs and a reliable partner in nation building.


About the Author
Sandra Tablan Paredes is presently the Executive Director of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) since October, 2016 although she previously served LPP as Director from 1997 to 2004 Sandy helped organize ULAP in 1998 with former Governor Joey Lina and advocated for the LGUs' rightful IRA share, among other league advocacies, programs and projects to help local officials ensure local and fiscal autonomy and good governance. Recently served as concurrent interim Executive Director of ULAP from Jan-March 31, 2017. You can email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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