By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, March 18 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III challenged the local government officials on Tuesday to perform better and continue the exercise of good governance, stressing that they have a deeper understanding of the needs of their constituents.
The President made the challenge during the induction of the new set of officers of the Leagues of Local Government Units (LGUs) at the Manila Hotel, attended by at least 1,228 mayors from different provinces, cities and municipalities in the country.
In his speech, the President assured the local officials that their efforts will be rewarded by the national government through the Department of Interior and Local Government’s Local Government’s Seal of Good Local Governance, which also carries with it financial incentives.
He also emphasized the importance of sustaining the practice of accountability and transparency in local government units, which play a vital role in economic growth and poverty alleviation.
“Kayo ang nasa lokal na pamahalaan; kayo ang may malalim na pag-unawa sa mga pangangailangan ng inyong kababayan,” President Aquino said.
“…Kayo ang nasa magandang posisyon para gumawa ng mga kongkretong hakbang upang tugunan ang mga ito,” he added.
President Aquino further stressed the importance of LGU officials who will also be rewarded with the Performance Challenge Fund for doing their best to fulfill their promises to the people they serve.
“Ang gusto ko pong bigyan ng diin: Ang Performance Challenge Fund ay para sa lahat ng gustong tuparin ang kanilang pangako bilang lingkod bayan,” the President said, referring to the incentive.
“Hindi po kailangan ng palakasan at papogian. Hindi ninyo kailangang sumipsip para mabigyan ng Performance Challenge Fund,” he added.
At least 719 LGUs were given Performance Challenge Funds with a total incentive of P1 billion last year, President Aquino said, adding that a total of 1,372 LGUs have complied with the good housekeeping requirements.
This number is nearly 84 percent of the total number of LGUs, the President said, challenging the remaining 20 percent to do the same.
“Sa bawat isa po sa ating mga LGU: Sana naman po ay hindi lang minimum ang ating habulin; sa halip, talaga pong ibuhos natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya, upang pagharap natin sa kanya-kaniyang mga salamin ay masabi nating, ‘Tinupad ko ang aking sinumpaang tungkulin; naging kabahagi ako ng pagbabago; tapat akong naglingkod sa kapwa ko Pilipino’” he said.
After the LGU oath-taking ceremony, President Aquino attended the League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ general assembly for this year, where the LMP Executive Committee defined its objectives and discussed the issues affecting the league. (PNA)