THE country’s 1,488 municipal mayors will campaign for the agenda of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to push constitutional reforms that will empower local government units especially those in the regions to push real progress in the provinces and resolve social ills that had promoted corruption in government.
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson, National President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), said the country’s town mayors are particularly interested in two constitutional amendments that will help them achieve the economic and social progress in their communities that they and their constituents have dreamt of for a long time.
The LMP National President turned over to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año an LMP resolution endorsing a proposal to institutionalize the so-called Mandanas Ruling of the Supreme Court in the Constitution and the lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in industries currently limited to Filipinos.
Singson said the institutionalization of the Mandanas Ruling will ensure that regions will have continuous fair share in the taxes collected by the National Government that will put their level of development at par with those of other rich regions like Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.
“Institutionalizing the Mandanas ruling will be a big help to poor regions. Every municipality especially the poor ones are short of funds and they will definitely welcome all additional budget especially since this will help their development,” Singson said after turning over the LMP resolution to the DILG chief.
The LMP also endorsed a proposal to lift constitutional restrictions that bar foreign investors from entering certain industries. The restrictions have been in place since the 1935 Constitution.
Singson said the country’s municipal mayors believe that allowing foreign investors to own majority of operations of local companies will be beneficial to their constituents as long as the lifting of restrictions would continue protection of workers’ rights and the ban on foreign ownership of land, which is also the position of President Duterte.
“We support all the programs of the national government for the good of the public,” he said.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the National Government welcomes the support of the municipal mayors because this will make its programs to make Filipinos’ lives better will succeed and be felt by the people in the ground.
“The municipal mayors are the ones who know the real score in the communities, especially in the areas where millions of Filipinos have wallowed in poverty for a long time. Their support of this agenda means they recognize it as a necessary corrective measure to achieve the President’s agenda to make our people’s lives better especially now that we need to recover from the impact of COVID 19 on our country’s economy,” Malaya said.
Former Masbate Gov. Vicente Homer Revil, Chairperson of the CORE Movement which is campaigning for the proposed constitutional amendments, welcomed the support of the country’s 1,800 municipal mayors in the campaign.
“It is heartening to know that Mayor Chavit Singson really wants to champion changes in our Constitution because he knows it is timely during this COVID 19 pandemic,” Revil said.
He said the support of the municipal mayors for the proposed constitutional reforms are a welcome boost to the campaign.
“We are glad the mayors recognize the benefit of this agenda to the lives of their constituents,” said Revil.