Hontiveros to gov’t: stop undermining autonomy of LGUs

Published August 11, 2021, 10:21 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Duterte administration should stop undermining the autonomy of local government units (LGUs) and proceed to rationalize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to expedite the country’s full recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Senator Risa Hontiveros made the call as she slammed Malacañang for harassing one particular local government and making rude comments against a local chief executive.

“So how can the ‘best communicator’ is taking the lead in harassing an LGU? It’s not hard to pinpoint who is the rude one and who is being treated rudely,” Hontiveros pointed out.

“This government should stop undermining the autonomy of our LGUs. Because in reality, these LGUs are the ones at the forefront saving this administration’s weak pandemic response,” she pointed out.

“Our governors, mayors, barangay leaders are the ones taking the brunt of the workload even if the cash aid from the national government comes down in trickles. Even if someone is belittling them, they still keep going,” the senator added.

President Duterte earlier called out a “certain mayor” and warned he would not give this local chief executive the power to distribute “ayuda” or cash aid for being inefficient in aid distribution.

Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, who felt alluded to by the President’s statement, denied being inefficient in their distribution of financial aid, and even shared on social media the certificate of recognition issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for his performance in the distribution of cash aid to his constituents.

Hontiveros said the administration should be reminded that it cannot reprise the role of LGUs, especially in the fight against the pandemic.

“LGUs are waiting for help and assistance, not local gossip in the night,” she said.

“Remember that our LGUs are the redeeming factor in this fight, especially against the new variants of COVID-19,” she stressed.

“Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the administration, which has been remiss in its duties to serve the people,” the lawmaker lamented.