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PIA Press Release
2008/11/20

PGMA thanks municipal mayors for being nat'l government's partners in development

Manila (20 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recognized the important role local executives have in supporting the national government's (NG) efforts to improve the lives of the people, especially the poor.

In her keynote address at the 18th League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) General Assembly at the Manila Hotel, the President stressed that the local executives "play a big part" in ensuring food security, peace and security, better health and education for the people.

She thanked them for staying "focused on your jobs" of delivering the basic needs of the people and for "not (being) affected by the noise prematurely generated by the 2010 elections."

"Thank you for realizing that effective governance is not a popularity contest. And thank you for understanding that the people deserve from their leaders to deliver …and because you stood and delivered."

The President also noted that the theme of the LMP Assembly which is "LMP Working on Local Solutions to National and Global Issues on Food Security, Climate Change, Local Economic Development and Peace and Security," is very timely as the world continues to face the challenges of higher food prices, global warming and security.

The President said as the local executives discuss the theme of their assembly, "We continue to tackle hunger… High prices has put more pressures on the people …as public servants, our main concern is for the people, particularly the poor.'

She said the national government has responded immediately to see to it that food reach the tables of the poor with the help of the local government units that ensured that subsidized rice reached the real targets---the poor.

"Local government units play a big part in the effective distribution of subsidized rice," she stressed.

And, since a great part of agricultural tasks are devolved, the President said the local governments also have a great role to play in government's goal to achieve rice sufficiency in the next five years.

"Food security in your jurisdiction must be addressed by local executives," she stressed adding, "thank you for recognizing that responsibility."

And while ensuring that the people do not go hungry, the President also noted that the local executives did not put in the backseat concerns on the environment and on peace and security.

She also noted the lead role the local government units have in the government's new paradigm of peace negotiations which is the conduct of dialogues with the communities and the major stakeholders and no longer with the armed groups.

The President also took note of the efforts of LGUs in her jobs generation program and their support to her goal to break the cycle of sending Filipinos abroad to work.

And, while she noted the big contribution of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in creating new jobs, the Presidents ordered the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)- Commission to conduct a technical study on the resources needed by each province to be ICT-enable.

The President also vowed to certify as urgent the LMP-recommended measures that "greatly affects the full growth and development of local governments" once these have been passed the committee level.

These include the Land Administration Reform Act, the Free Patent Amendment Bill, and the proposed amendments to the Local Government Code. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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