Abalos backs amendment of 1991 Local Government Code

BY

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos (MB FILE PHOTO)

The 1991 local government code should be reviewed extensively and undergo changes to suit present day conditions, particularly in the delineation of responsibilities of the local government units (LGUs) and the national government, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin “Benhur’’ Abalos Jr. said on Wednesday, July 10.

In the pre-SONA interview, Abalos cited as an example that current local government code tasks the barangays to fund the maintenance of barangay roads aside from the LGUs being obligated to fund for the construction of public schools.

 Abalos emphasized that not all city and municipal governments and the barangays have rich coffers to fund these public projects.

Branding it with many defects, Abalos described the 33-year old local government code as the current “Bible’’ of the LGUs in their governance.

Abalos pointed out that they have made recommendations that these projects like the construction of school buildings should be handled by the national government, but admitted that a Congressional amendment is necessary for this to push through.

He also added that the solid waste management, particularly the collection of garbage currently handled by the LGUs will be part of their proposal in the amendment of the local government code.

The DILG chief exclaimed that some LGUs dump garbage in the backyards, describing it as unlawful, unhygienic and unhealthy, since dirty liquid from the waste materials might get mixed with the source of potable and drinking water of the people.

In the said proposal, Abalos disclosed that they have the full backing of the Union ofLocal Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) headed by Dakila “Dax’’ Cua and the Local Government Academy (LGA). 

Further, Abalos revealed that they have scrutinized the proposed changes in the local government code calling it a “devolution,’’ which translates on how to distribute the powers in government as ordered by the President.

Abalos also expressed elation of their good working relationship with the congressmen, saying that the proposed amendment is “a delicate balancing’’ in the distribution of responsibilities between the LGUs and the national government.