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PIA Press Release

LGUs' corporate powers still untapped - MEDCO

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (28 October) -- A top Mindanao official disclosed that the corporate powers of local chief executives remain untapped.

Secretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic and Development Council (Medco) in a press briefing during a forum on "Innovative Governance for Peace and Development in Mindanao" said these LGUs have corporate powers but not all had explored these.

He said most of the LGUs are dependent on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) while others could go up to the executive department to access for funds.

However he said these powers (corporate) have not been totally explored by some and it is high time that this must be given focus.

The government he said is in continuous search for funds because the population is increasing and with more people, more funds is needed.

In an earlier press briefing, Board of Investments head for Regions IX, XI, XII and part of Caraga Region said that only 10 percent of the LGUs in the Davao Region came up with investment priority plans and a handful of that percentage already had their own investment centers.

He said most of the local chief executives do not appreciate investments not realizing that it could bring wealth to their communities.

Leyretana said except for areas that are already top producers like Quezon City that was rated as the No. 1 city in the country as far as genuine money is concern there are some areas in Mindanao that are also producing well.

He however said that even with the LGUs being backed by the Local Government Code (or RA 7160) some are hesitant to explore the law and stressed the need to revisit the Code.

"There is a need to review the local government code and know the weaknesses of the law," he said.

With 1,270 other new laws both departmental and executive issuances it affects somehow the powers of the LGUs.

On the same press briefing, Fr. Antonio Samson, S.J. said some local government units are not producing enough money although part of the responsibility is to become self-sufficient.

He said many cities in Mindanao are trying to do what they can but then they are also faced with a lot of gray lines in the Code.

He said for instance that the island is ahead in agriculture but the industry is somewhere else. There is a need to produce to make demands too.

"The local government units can produce better climate so development could come in," he added. (PIA XI) [top]

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