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Councilors, support the passage of administrative priority legislation.

On Thursday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged councilors to support his administration’s top legislative priorities, especially those that will enable local government entities to carry out their duties more successfully.

In a speech given at the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) National Convention 2023 and oath-taking of newly elected PCL national officers at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, he said, “I am hopeful that you will support the passage of the administration’s legislative priorities, particularly measures that aim to capacitate local government units.

The E-Governance Act, which will institutionalize digitalization in the bureaucracy and make it simpler for Filipinos to transact with the government, and amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, which address ambiguities, bottlenecks, and other challenges in the law implementation, are among the laws, according to Marcos.

He added, “This will enable you to participate more actively in BOT projects since the proposed modifications will streamline the requirements and remove uncertainties that restrict your participation in P3s.

The National Land Use Act, which would enable the government to allocate land for priority areas such as agricultural and fishery production, settlement and infrastructure development, transportation, communication, water resources, and social infrastructure, was another call he made to councilors.

The nation’s water and land resources would be adequately managed thanks to this, he said. “But, while you wait for it to pass, I urge you to harmonize, standardize, and establish land use policies and rules. The potential of land resources is maximized through the effective implementation of land use-related policies, and it will promote economic growth in your individual localities.

In order to assure the creation of a fair, equitable, and effective real property assessment system, Marcos also requested support for the adoption of Tax Package 3, also known as the Valuation Reform Law.

He stated, “If we work together in passing this plan, we can extend the tax base used for property and property-related taxes of the national and local governments, raise LGU revenues without adopting new tax measures, and improve LGUs’ financial self-sufficiency.

We can accomplish all of this without increasing taxes on the populace, he continued.

Also, he advocated for the approval of the Waste Treatment Technology Act, which will open the door for contemporary solutions to the nation’s enduring garbage problem.

According to him, this will require LGUs to support, promote, and implement a comprehensive solid waste management program that encompasses reduction, segregation, recycling, and recovery.

Objectivity and accountability

The newly elected PCL national officers were also congratulated by Marcos, who again reaffirmed their commitment to serving with “honor, honesty, and dedication” and upholding “transparency and accountability” in their work.

“I am certain that you will uphold your promise to carry out your duties while keeping your people’s interests in mind. Never give in to a temptation that would compromise your integrity, he advised.

He urged them to “avoid unjust and dangerous behaviors that put the bureaucracy in a condition of decay” in addition to abstaining from corrupt practices.

He reminded them that dishonesty against their constituents can take the form of either an act of action or an act of omission.

Putting people first

Additionally, Marcos urged council members to concentrate on initiatives that benefit the populace and strive for solutions that directly meet the needs of every sphere of society.

He stated, “It is your duty to give life, meaning, and substance to the constitutional mandate of local autonomy and devolution of powers. You are also endowed to engage in meaningful dialogues on subjects impacting local legislative concerns.

He urged them to make sure that municipal laws allow for the unhindered and unrestricted movement of commodities inside their communities.

Also, Marcos exhorted council members to keep bringing the government closer to the people by developing initiatives, projects, and initiatives that promote public well-being.

Instead of organizing your people into troops and sending them to urban areas and other hubs of activity, he advised, “let us bring ourselves to the far-flung areas to make governance more accessible and convenient for everyone.” He was referring to a whole-of-government strategy for resolving the country’s issues.

He pledged his support for all local governmental entities, pointing out that they play an equally important role in tackling pressing issues as the federal government.

You can depend on the national government to come in whenever you need assistance, he added. “Asahan naman ang national government kapag humingi kayo ng tulong, kami ay papasok diyan,” he said.

Additionally, he reaffirmed that his administration works closely with the councilors to develop, carry out, and coordinate projects and activities that are advantageous to the PCL and the Filipino people.

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