MAYOR Sara Duterte is pushing for stronger local autonomy to boost the potential of the local government units in responding to a crisis.
In her recent talk during the 2021 Regional Planning of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at SMX Convention Center, Lanang, the mayor said that a stronger local autonomy is a viable tool to harness the potential of the LGUs in addressing situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have personally seen the value and the benefits of strengthening local autonomy, especially now at the age of COVID-19. Our local government units need the financial stability and operational capacity to sufficiently respond to crises without sacrificing funding for priority programs and projects. I joined the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in the call to push for income reclassification of municipalities,” she said.
As to the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling that increases the share of the national government tax revenue transferred to local governments, Duterte said the government must make sure that the implementation should be equitable so that no municipality, regardless of classification, is excluded from national government assistance. The country will start implementing the Mandanas Ruling in 2022.
She added that the implementation of the ruling should be rationalized to take into consideration the absorptive capacity of municipalities to adopt devolved functions and personnel.
“The increase in National Tax Allotment (NTA) can only truly effect meaningful change in our local government units if regulations on the utilization of the 20 percent development plan are liberalized, so as not to be prohibitive to priority programs and projects that will have the maximum impact on the welfare of our people. The empowerment of local government units, and especially financially challenged municipalities can only bode well for our country,” she said.
According to the mayor, no municipality should be left behind as one municipality’s success replicated to 1,400 municipalities across the archipelago will usher in an age of economic prosperity that is equitable, and inclusive, resulting in the upliftment of our nation as a whole.
“We should leave no municipality behind in our national agenda for peace and progress. Today, this gathering tells us that local government units are coming together crossing political lines to pursue a common purpose, to build a stronger nation, so that the Filipino people may enjoy stability, security, and a prosperous way of life,” she said.
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