The 1,488-strong League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) on Friday expressed overwhelming support for President Duterte’s call for constitutional reforms.
LMP national president Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson said that pushing for constitutional reforms will empower the local government units (LGUs) to resolve “social ills that have promoted corruption in government.’’
He added that municipal mayors believe that the measure will also boost the economic progress in their localities especially in far-flung and hard to reach areas.
Singson said town mayors are particularly interested in two constitutional amendments that will help them achieve the “economic and social progress in their communities that they and their constituents have dreamed of for a long time.’’
The LMP national president said he has turned over to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año an LMP resolution endorsing a proposal to institutionalize the so-called “Mandanas Ruling of the Supreme Court in the Constitution and the lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in industries currently limited to Filipinos.’’
Singson explained that the institutionalization of the Mandanas Ruling will ensure that the regions will have a continuous fair share in the taxes collected by the national government.
With the setup, Singson noted that this will “put their level of development at par with those of other rich regions like Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, and Central Luzon.’’
“Institutionalizing the Mandanas Ruling will be a big help to poor regions. Every municipality especially the poor ones are short of funds and they will definitely welcome all additional budget especially since this will help their development,” Singson said.
The LMP also endorsed a proposal to lift constitutional restrictions that bar foreign investors from entering certain industries.
“The restrictions have been in place since the 1935 Constitution,’’ the LMP said.
Singson said they stressed that “allowing foreign investors to own majority of the operations of local companies will be beneficial to their constituents as long as the lifting of restrictions would continue protection of workers’ rights and the ban on foreign ownership of land, which is also the position of President Duterte.’’
“We support all the programs of the national government for the good of the public,” Singson said.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the national government welcomes the stand of the LMP since “this will make its programs to make Filipinos’ lives better will succeed and be felt by the people in the ground.’’
“The municipal mayors are the ones who know the real score in the communities, especially in the areas where millions of Filipinos have wallowed in poverty for a long time. Their support of this agenda means they recognize it as a necessary corrective measure to achieve the President’s agenda to make our people’s lives better especially now that we need to recover from the impact of COVID 19 on our country’s economy,” Malaya said.