Abalos wants provincial councils to enact policies that are in sync with nat’l government

Abalos wants provincial councils to enact policies that are in sync with nat’l government

By Rjhay E. Laurea

MANILA — Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. encouraged the country’s 81 newly-elected vice governors to enact policies that are in sync with the national government’s programs and thrust in consultation with different stakeholders to address the needs and challenges of their respective localities.

“Vice governors are in a unique position to bring about positive change as presiding officers of their respective Sangguniang Panlalawigan [provincial councils]. I strongly support you (vice governors) to craft relevant ordinances for the benefit of the people,” Abalos said during the 88th League of Vice Governors of the Philippines National Assembly held at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila recently.

He said the national government and LGUs should work in unison to bring about meaningful change in our country and vice governors will play a key role in making this a reality.

“Let us, therefore, be active in collaborating with the administration by anchoring our programs and actions in the same direction while taking into consideration your localities’ needs,” he said.

The DILG Chief also highlighted the importance of multisectoral cooperation in developing LGU plans and actions to solve systemic problems in the provinces and maintain peaceful, safe, and orderly localities.

“With the multisectoral way of doing simple things fundamentally and the involvement of all sectors, we will never go wrong,” he said.

Abalos added, that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall remain an ally of the vice governors and is committed to providing continuous capacity development interventions on policy-making, one of their most critical responsibilities; green space and environmental sustainability; and, implementation of the Newly Elected Officials (NEOs) Program.

Through the NEO Program, the DILG will hold orientations on the basics of local governance and administration and provide online training courses about the local government operations and scholarship opportunities for their academic and professional development, and other hands-on and in-depth training and capacity development (CapDev) interventions.

During the oath-taking of the new set of officers for the said league, the DILG Chief also urged the Vice Governors to be resolute leaders who are determined to carry out their programs and responsibilities despite adversities.

Citing his experience as the Mayor of Mandaluyong City, he said he restructured the Mandaluyong cemetery despite all the backlash because it will benefit the majority of his constituents and it turned out to be what he described as a “great transformation” of the burial ground.

“Be firm and decisive with your actions. Maraming magagalit, marami kang makakabangga [Many will be mad, you may have enemies], but you need to do what is for the greater good,” Abalos added.

In his keynote speech, Abalos urged the local officials to uphold the rule of law in carrying out their thrusts and priority programs, especially as the government pursues its anti-drug campaign.

He mentioned his initiatives in Mandaluyong which are worth emulating as he sought ways to eliminate the drug menace “without going beyond the bounds of the law.”

In pinning down alleged drug culprits in the Mandaluyong, he said his administration designated employees to be witnesses in anti-drug drives, targeting both big and small-scale drug operations, to strengthen the cases against those involved in the drug trade and increase the chances of conviction. (ai/mtvn)

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