Business as Usual
All three branches of Government are business as usual despite the fact that President Duterte’s martial law declaration is still in effect in Mindanao. Services are being delivered, goods are being sold at regular prices, even casinos are raking in profits save for that unfortunate solo incident that recently occurred at the Resorts World. And unlike the Marcos’ style of martial law way back then, Congress is business as usual.
Recently, Senator Sonny Angara convened the Senate Committee on Local Government to discuss the on-going deliberations of the technical working groups (TWG) on the proposed priority amendments to the 1991 Local Government Code.
The TWG deliberations for Book I is being chaired by Dr. Edna Co of UP, Book II by Dr. Chat Manasan of PIDS, and Book III by no less than DILG Usec. Austere A. Panadero who also designated by Sen. Angara as over-all Chair of the TWG discussions.
Usec. Panadero presented to Sen. Angara their 1st Interim Report on the LGC KRAs or Key Reform Areas:
- Strengthening the LGUs;
- Barangay Reform;
- Creation of LGUs
- Metropolitanization/ Inter-Local cooperation
- Strategic Projects
- Oversight Functions
- Human Resource
- Competitiveness/ Ease of doing Business; and
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During the Senate hearing, ULAP President and concurrent Chairman of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), Gov. Al Francis Bichara of Albay, ably represented the local governments’ priority concerns and provided valuable inputs and lessons learned based on actual experiences of local officials in the implementation of the LGCode.
Angara said that he is more inclined to propose separate bills on each of these key reform areas instead of an omnibus bill in the Senate. Stakeholders were asked to provide the top five (5) priority amendments to his Committee for consideration.
(To be continued…)