In the spotlight: League of Provinces of the Philippines

In the spotlight: League of Provinces of the Philippines

In the latest article of our series, where we are looking more closely at key DELGOSEA members who are holding the network together and work behind the scenes in each country, the focus this month is on the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP).

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. 

Looking more closely at the LPP, this league represents the 81 provinces of the country and creates a forum for the governors to articulate issues affecting them, to promote autonomy and to lobby against all bills that threaten to undermine decentralisation efforts. All provinces are members of 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.

The work programme focus on several aspects of sub-national governance, such as the strengthening of local government performance in the delivery of basic services and the widening of access to sources of funds for development projects. Best practice exchanges between provinces is another important activity, with the LPP keen to enable its members to learn from each other’s experiences. There is also an exchange programme for governors, local functionaries and league staff which exposes them to different experiences in local government, resource mobilisation and service delivery with the aim of enhancing their capacities and improving performances.

The LPP is of course also keen to influence national policy and aims to continuously increase its presence and influence in the formulation of policies that affect the provinces; the Standing Committees of the League offer policy proposals on specific concerns and issue position papers outlining its stance on national and local issues. The LPP also cooperates closely with the other three leagues to identify common issues and concerns and to establish an atmosphere of mutual respect, understanding and unity.