Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has renewed his push for local government units (LGUs) to get a more equitable share of the national budget so they can fund their own development programs.
Lacson, who has launched his presidential bid in the upcoming May 2022 elections, made the pitch during his visit to Davao del Norte, where he and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III received a warm welcome from officials of Partido Reporma, headed by former House Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, the party president.
Over the weekend, Lacson and Sotto visited Davao del Norte as incumbent officials took their oaths as members of Partido Reporma. Lacson currently chairs Partido Reporma, while Sotto, his vice presidential bet, chairs the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
“There is a big disconnect between the needs and priorities of the LGUs and the national budget,” Lacson said during a meeting with local officials at the provincial capitol.
“Because of this disconnect, billions of pesos in unused and misused appropriations in the national budget is wasted due to the lack of planning and proper consultations,” he further said.
Lacson pointed out he has long pushed for the passage into law of Senate Bill No. 23 or the Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE), to make sure LGUs get enough funds for their development projects.
The senator assured Davao del Norte—and all other LGUs in the country—can benefit from the passage of the BRAVE bill.
According to Lacson, the bill seeks to ensure that local governments will get funding for development projects at the barangay, municipality, city, and provincial levels.
In pushing for the bill, the lawmaker noted that a big percentage of the national budget is unused appropriations, year-in, year-out.
“By giving LGUs the necessary wherewithal to be active participants in the development of our country, we will end the culture of mendicancy and political patronage that viciously thrive in our system,” Lacson said in his bill.“Ultimately this will help us realize the elusive inclusive growth that we all aspire for as a nation,” he stressed.