MANILASenator Sonny Angara has underscored the need to strengthen the capability of local government units (LGUs) to effectively deliver front-line basic services for citizens as a means to facilitate inclusive growth.
"For growth to be inclusive, we need to capacitate LGUs by giving them more powers and funds to ensure a more efficient, effective and responsive delivery of basic services," the lawmaker said.
Angara issued the statement Tuesday as the Senate committee on local government, which he chairs, tackled various legislative proposals to revisit the 27-year-old Local Government Code (LGC), which has remained relatively unchanged since its enactment in 1991.
The proposals include increasing the share of LGUs in the Internal Revenue Allotment; updating requisites for creating LGUs; simplifying local taxes to improve tax compliance; and enhancing the taxing powers of LGUs and the use of national wealth in local development.
Angara said LGUs should be given their own autonomy, and enough power and funds to respond to the needs of their constituencies.
"We need to empower the LGUs in order for them to more effectively fulfill their role as front-liners in the delivery of government services," he said.
Angara, a former congressman representing the lone district of Aurora province, said the LGUs must be given a more active role in nation-building by providing them governmental powers and full autonomy in providing basic services to the people.
"As we recognize that the LGU is the national government's longest arm and closest hand to and individual, it is just right that this hand be given more dexterity, flexibility, and power to care for, guide, provide for, and guard the citizen's welfare," the senator said. "That way, this unit will be front and center in nation-building."
Angara noted that the LGC under Republic Act No. 7160 has remained relatively unchanged since its enactment in 1991.
Since 2016, the panel has been focusing on nine areas of concern in order to come up with proposed measures that would somehow update the LGC. These are strengthening LGUs, barangay reform, metropolitanization/inter-local cooperation, strategic projects, LGU creation, oversight functions, human resources, competitiveness and ease of doing business, and financing. (Senate PR)
Source: Philippine News Agency