Dispatch from Crame No. 964: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Imperative Need for LGUs’ Financial Support

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For someone who was elected on the platform of federalism, Duterte and his government have been concentrating the power and resources on the National Government.

If 2020 revealed anything, it is that Mr. Duterte is not the leader that our local government units (LGUs) need and deserve. Early this year, Mr. Duterte refused to issue a travel ban, which all but guaranteed that our country will be hit hard by COVID-19. He left the local governments to fend for themselves and refused to use the various contingency funds at his disposal to help the LGUs withstand the initial salvo of the pandemic. It was only after Congress legislated the Bayanihan Law that any assistance was given to the LGUs.

Pag release ng pondo papunta sa mga LGU ang usapan, ang bagal. Pero pag trabaho, ambilis magpasa.

Ngayon naman sunud-sunod ang mga bagyo, pahirapan pa rin ang pag release ng ayuda mula sa administrasyon papunta sa mga LGU. The LGU emergency funds are almost depleted due to the pandemic and still, Mr. Duterte refuses to use the billions left in the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management funds and his discretionary funds. There are also reports that some local officials are having a hard time receiving relief goods because of bureaucratic validation. Ayuda na lang para sa mga nasalanta, pinapahirapan pa.

I call on my colleagues in Congress to stop this cycle of abuse by the national government of our LGUs. We must ensure that the LGUs, especially those visited frequently by typhoons, have sufficient contingency funds for disaster and risk reduction management.

Hindi na dapat kailangan ng mga LGU natin mamalimos sa national government para sa tulong sa kalamidad. May federalisasyon man o wala, dapat tiyakin natin na malakas at handa ang ating mga LGU para pagsilbihan ang ating mga kababayan. Kapartido man ang mga opisyal ng LGU o hindi, dapat ay natatangap ng taumbayan ang kanilang bahagi mula sa kaban ng bayan. ###

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 964, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_20964

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