Interior Secretary Mar Roxas over the weekend vowed to give full support to local government officials, describing them as partners in bringing about change and true service to the Filipino people.
In a speech after inducting the members of the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines at the Solaire Hotel in Pasay City over the weekend, the Interior secretary enumerated five priority areas in the said bid.
Roxas also gave them a direct line with which to call him regarding their concerns.
“I know in your hearts you have that desire. Hindi madali ang trabaho ng isang public servant [The work of a public servant is not easy]. As DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] chief, I want to help in whatever way I can for you to have a successful career,” Roxas told the newly elected vice governors.
“You have my number. Feel free to call,” he added.
The five priority areas include transparency and good housekeeping, “bottoms up” budgeting, disaster risk reduction, business friendliness, tourism promotion and Persons with Disabilities-friendliness.
“Ang transparency at good housekeeping ay palalawakin, palalalimin at magkakaroon ng dagdag na pondo para sa kabahagi ng nasabing programa [Transparency and good housekeeping will be broadened, intensified, and more funds will be allocated to pursue the said programs],”Roxas said.
Under “bottoms up” budgeting which will form a big part of the 2014 national budget, the national government will ask for suggestions, recommendations and an accounting of the actual needs of the local government units (LGU).
“Sa halip na ang national government ang magsasabi ng kailangan ng mga local government, ang LGUs ang magsasabi ng kailangan nila na tatapatan ng [Instead of the national government declaring what the local governments need, the LGUs will be the ones to say what they need which will be matched with a] 20 percent development fund,” Roxas explained.
The DILG Secretary also said disaster risk reduction is a priority of the Aquino administration.
Roxas said the government is also partnering with Department of Trade and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce for the grading of each city with regard to business friendliness. The business-friendly areas will be included in the Department of Trade and Industry list every time there are trade and export missions.
The DILG Secretary said the national government could help in tourism promotion by bringing in the logistics and infrastructure as well as conducting strategic workshops to come up with developmental plans for local communities.