President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday called on local government officials to support his administration’s socioeconomic agenda and legislative priorities.
Mr. Marcos made the call during the oath-taking of the new set of national officers of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP).
“So, I take this opportunity to rally your support behind our socio-economic plan and the administration’s legislative priorities. To this day, our vice mayors are important instruments in our bureaucracy and our delivery of services to the public,” he said in a speech delivered before the vice mayors.
“It is now upon us to solidify the groundwork upon which this transformation is based, and to make sure that it gains traction, especially at the local level,” he added.
The President stressed the importance to ensure the full implementation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, an economic recovery roadmap that outlines the strategies to attain economic and social transformation for a “prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society.”
On Jan. 27, Marcos signed Executive Order 14, approving the PDP 2023-2028 which is anchored on the eight-point socioeconomic agenda aimed at reinvigorating job creation and accelerating poverty reduction while addressing the issues brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Marcos said critical programs and projects for the Filipino people should be “felt in their localities, in a sufficient and timely manner.”
He said collaborative effort is key to achieving the national government’s goals.
“Of course, LGUs (local government units) are not alone in this exercise. Through strategic capacity-building efforts and partnerships with the national government and the private sector, these can be accomplished even in the short-term, well within our terms of office,” Marcos said.
“So, that is… how we see the relationship between the national government and the local governments, especially the local legislatures which you all shared,” he added.
Marcos also reassured the LGUs that his administration will continue to recognize and advocate for their autonomy as they serve their localities.
He said the LGUs will get his full support for “effective and meaningful” local autonomy.
This, as Marcos also acknowledged that fulfilling legislative priorities may pose a challenge to LGUs, especially in streamlining and digitalizing their operations.
“As I have consistently advocated, LGUs can be assured of this government’s support for effective and meaningful local autonomy,” he said, adding it could be achieved through optimal devolution of functions and services.