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CUA: Service-Oriented LGUs to Lead the Future of Local Governance

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Manila, PHILIPPINES – The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) participated in the UGNAYAN Lecture Series organized by the Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) in collaboration with ULAP. The UGNAYAN Lecture Series, held on 30 June 2023 and organized by CLRG in collaboration with ULAP, aims to address the challenges of decentralization and promote a people-centered approach to local governance. Through meaningful discussions and policy reforms, the series seeks to enhance the connection between LGUs and their constituents, leading to sustainable solutions for the benefit of all.

Governor Dax Cua of ULAP served as the resource person during the webinar. In his insightful speech, he emphasized the need for service-oriented local government units (LGUs) and explored the challenges and opportunities in the state of decentralization.

Governor Cua acknowledged the significant role played by the Local Government Code (LGC) in empowering LGUs over the past 32 years. The LGC has granted them autonomy and authority to address unique challenges and foster democratic participation, decentralization, and equitable resource distribution. However, he highlighted that the current decentralization framework has not fully enabled LGUs to realize their fullest potential.

The governor delved into the intricate complexities and emerging trends shaping the future trajectory of local governance in the Philippines. He highlighted the impact of digitalization, climate action, and the need for enhanced disaster response and resilience. Additionally, he emphasized the importance of internalization, globalization, and public-private partnerships for LGUs to become able partners in nation-building.

Governor Cua shared ULAP’s proposal for a paradigm shift in decentralization, empowering local authorities as agents of change, amplifying citizen participation, and paving the way for inclusive governance that serves the needs of communities. He advocated for a needs-based, data-driven, and scientific approach to identify essential services and improve service delivery at the local level.

“ULAP’s proposal for decentralization transcends mere power transfer; it’s a paradigm shift that empowers local authorities as agents of change, amplifies citizen participation, and paves the way for inclusive governance that truly serves the needs of our communities,” Cua said.

The webinar provided a platform to foster dialogue among stakeholders, including national government agencies, local government units, academic institutions, policy centers, and policy experts. Governor CUA invited all participants to collaborate with ULAP in realizing the vision of service-oriented LGUs.

The UGNAYAN Lecture Series featured a diverse panel of esteemed experts who added substantial insights to the discussion namely Usec. Marlo L. Iringan, the Undersecretary for Local Government at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Dr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan, a Senior Economist specializing in Public Finance at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Dr. Reginald G. Ugaddan, the Director of the UP Center for Local and Regional Governance. The panelists, with their unique perspectives and expertise, played a crucial role in adding depth and substance to the webinar’s discussion. Their valuable insights and recommendations enriched the dialogue, fostering a more comprehensive understanding of the issues at hand and paving the way for effective policy reforms in local governance.

ULAP expresses its gratitude to CLRG for organizing this significant webinar series and extends appreciation to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for their participation. ULAP looks forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders in shaping the future of local governance in the Philippines.


ULAP is the umbrella organization of all leagues of local government units and local government officials in country, serving as the focal representative and mouthpiece of the subnational government in all policy and program platforms to amplify our unified advocacy towards the strengthening of LGUs into able partners in nation-building.

Learn more at www.ulap.net.ph.

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