LGAs - Crucial Partners for DELGOSEAS's Future

LGAs - Crucial Partners for DELGOSEAS's Future
14/11/2011

Philippines

In its last project year, DELGOSEA is focusing on sustainability - how can the project results be preserved, who will continue with activities when the EU-funding comes to an end? The obvious candidates for guardians of the DELGOSEA spirit are the official project partners, the local government associations (LGAs) in the five project countries. Over the coming months these will be introduced in greater detail, starting with the Philippines here today.

The Philippines have a long tradition of city and provincial governments organising themselves to push for reforms and lobby for a local autonomy bill already in the 1950s. This bill, which was passed in 1957, allowed for local government officials to be elected rather than appointed. These officials began to organise themselves into a league. The passing of the local government code in 1991 allowed for the creation of separate leagues - the League of Provinces, League of Municipalities and League of Cities. All the three leagues are project partners of DELGOSEA, with various degrees of involvement in the project.

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) creates a forum for the provinces to articulate issues affecting them, to promote autonomy and to lobby against all bills, which threaten to undermine decentralisation efforts. All provinces are being represented in the LPP, which is headed by a national executive board. The current National President of the League of Provinces is governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr. of Oriental Mindoro.

Representing the city level is the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), which was created in 1987. In 1991, under the new local government code, the LCP became institutionalised as the primary organisations to deal with all issues affecting city government administration. The code also transformed the character of LCP from an organisation of political personalities to a membership-based institution where the cities – and not their political leaders – are now accountable entities.

Throughout the years, the LCP has pursued genuine local autonomy through its services to its members, ranging from administrative to policy development as well as technical and programmatic support. Just as the LPP, the LCP is headed by a national executive board, composed of 30 voting members with a secretariat supervised by the president and the secretary general. The current national president is mayor Oscar Rodriguez of San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Then, there is the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), a network that is covering the layer of local government between cities and provinces. It was also created in 1987, having its functions defined through the local government code in 1991. Its main purpose is to promote local autonomy at the municipal level and assist the national government in the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects affecting municipalities as a whole.

The league has 1512 members and is administered by a national executive committee, currently headed by mayor Strike Revilla of the municipality of Bacoor, Cavite. The National Secretariat, run by the Executive Director with full-time staff provides the League with the necessary technical and administrative support and liaison service.

Finally, there is the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). It was created in 1999 as umbrella organisation for all local government leagues and elected officials in the Philippines. Its mission is to unite all the Member-Leagues and enhance its partnership with all stakeholders to ensure a genuine local and fiscal autonomy for all Local Government Units thereby ensuring their smooth and efficient delivery of basic services to the people.

As of 2010, the Union is composed of 11 member leagues, 80 Governors; 80 Vice-governors; 120 City Mayors; 1,498 Municipal Mayors; 1,631 Vice Mayors; 16,718 Councilors; 850 Board Members; 41,995 Baranggays (Villages); and 335,960 Sangguaniang Kabataan. The current President of ULAP is governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr. of Oriental Mindoro.