Greater involvement of local government units (LGUs) in regional development was pushed by Gov. Hermilando I. Mandanas of Batangas during the 4th Quarter meeting of the CALABARZON Regional Development Council (RDC) last December 10.
Gov. Mandanas who is also the chair of the CALABARZON RDC proposed the involvement and recognition of LGUs in regional development. He cited that in the Regional Development Report, which tracks the performance of the region, the accomplishments or contributions of LGUs are not included. He asked that LGU accomplishments and contributions be included in the next Regional Development Report.
As the main advocate on the increase of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) and local autonomy through the devolution of government programs, Gov. Mandanas longed for LGUs to have more participation in regional development through investment programming, budgeting, and monitoring.
He proposed for LGUs to be members of the regional committees such as the Adhoc Committee in the establishment of a Justice Zone.
And as the LGUs are at the forefront in the success of the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program, he asked for capacity building of LGUs to prepare them in the implementation of the forthcoming programs and projects.
The recognition of the Council in greater LGU involvement is consistent with the expected enactment of the full devolution of government programs, projects and activities to the LGUs in 2021 and the increase in IRA for 2022. The RDC’s united stance is that LGUs should be fully ready for the greater responsibility to deliver effectively all essential public goods and services.
Benjamin Jose G. Bautista, NEDA Region IV-A | December 16, 2020