“IT is crucial for the national and local governments to rebuild an economy that will meet the needs of ordinary people.”
This according to Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) National President and Quirino Gov. Dax Cua, who stressed that “equally important as the national recovery plan are the individual LGUs’ recovery plans which need to be targeted and attuned to the needs of the local communities.”
Speaking on Friday at “Rebuilding the Local Economy,” the third part of a Webinar Series on Facilitating Local Recovery and Rehabilitation in Light of COVID-19 organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and ULAP, Cua urged participating local chief executives (LCEs) to cooperate and contribute to efforts to revitalize the economy.
In order to assist LCEs do this, Cua said that ULAP “has been investing in information dissemination, knowledge sharing, and best practice modelling as a way of capacitating the participants to contribute towards revving up efforts to put the local economy back on its feet soonest while keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 situation.”
“The current COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the many roles that LCEs undertake to protect the welfare of their constituents. Being closest to the people and the first responders to any contingency, LCEs perform the critical and indispensable functions at the frontlines, which supports the country adopting a response framework that is national government- enabled, local government unit-led, and people-centered,” Cua added.
Cua explained that LCEs play a crucial role “in keeping the faith alive in the face of daunting challenges and the risk to life that we face on a daily basis to maintain normal local government operations and sustain public service delivery.”
To help LGUs rebuild the local economy, Cua shared that ULAP has pushed for measures that would allow LGUs to mobilize resources that will support LGU-led initiatives geared at helping them bounce back to the pre-pandemic economic baseline.
The measures, said Cua, include, among others: (1) inclusion of specific forms of assistance to LGUs in both the 1st and 2nd Bayanihan Act; (2) launching of the “Restoration and Invigoration package for a Self-sufficient Economy towards Up-growth for LGUs” or RISE UP LGUs Program, which is a special loan facility with low interest rate to assist LGUs; (3) campaigning for more funding to subsidize the interest rate of concessional loans to LGUs; and (4) pushing for business investments in the countryside to generate economic revenue and employment, in collaboration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. For the sake of our people, let us stay and work together as one nation, healing as one.”