League of the Provinces of the Philippines National President Gov. Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr. hit the ground running by hosting a productive 2nd General Assembly in his home province, South Cotabato on 30 September 2022.
The activity, held in Koronadal City, carried the theme “Lupad sa Paglambo Padayon” (Continuing the journey to development), that consisted of the G.A. proper, a Governor’s Night, and a tour of the “Land of Dreamweavers.”
Key in the agenda was a forum with Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Benjamin “Benhur” D. Abalos on the various issues currently being faced by the governors within their respective constituencies.
In his dialog with the provincial chief executives, Sec. Abalos emphasized three major points:
Strengthening of the Regional Development Councils in the determination of national projects and its alignment with local development directions; the enhancement of Executive Order 138 on Full Devolution; and to step up the COVID-19 immunization program in provinces where the coverage still remains low.
Likewise, Sec. Abalos urged all the governors to come up their respective proposals for the Local Government Code Amendments for consolidation and presentation to a special joint body composed of the DILG, and the Senate and House of Representatives’ respective Committees on Local Government created to fasttrack legislative actions to amend R.A. 7160.
Governors likewise discussed key concerns such as the need for greater vigilance especially by the BJMP and PNP to ensure that jails are not used for venues of illegal drugs; implementing existing laws and policies on prior consultation with LCEs on key appointments by national government to LGUs such as the police directors; current challenges in the completion of CMGP projects whose implementation were disrupted due to the pandemic.
Taken up during the meeting was the report of and recommendations made during the first meeting of the LPP Committee on Agriculture, headed by Isabela Gov. Rodolfo Albano III, on the strategies that rice-producing provinces may take to increase local productivity and ensure food sufficiency in line with the President’s priority for agriculture and food sufficiency.
Gov. Tamayo, in his message, emphasized that now is the best time for LGUs to have a bigger voice in the administration of Pres. Bongbong Marcos, who was a former full-term governor himself.
He said this could be done through a show of unity among all governors and provinces to push for national development, by getting out of the box and showcasing each other’s good practices and consider them for replication so that greater attention be given to LGUs.
Among his proposals is for the executive department to allocate at least 20% of the National Expenditure Program to development projects proposed by LGUs.
Having said this, Gov. Tamayo said his administration plans to encourage other governors to host the succeeding general assemblies in their respective provinces to allow them and neighboring provinces to share their governance initiatives and innovations.
Apart from a presentation of the best practices of the Province of South Cotabato, the governors were also given an opportunity to visit key destinations there such as the first of the 7 Falls of Lake Sebu, a cruise along Lake Sebu and a view of Mt. Matutum.