Iloilo City.The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) VI in
partnership with the GIZ and the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) highlighted
the 21st anniversary celebration of the Local Government Code with four major highlights
in one big event on October 25, 2012: Regional Land Use Forum, Development
Talk, launching of Western Visayas Local Governance Resource Consortium, and
Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Regional Awarding Ceremony.
347 guests were local chief executives, national government agencies, academe,
non-government organizations and other stakeholders with the DILG
Undersecretary Francisco "Bimbo” Fernandez as the guest of honor. USec. Fernandez imparted his passion to
continue the legacy of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo and to focus his
efforts in uplifting the standards of local governance.
The 2nd Regional Land Use Forum with
its theme, "Challenges and Proposed Solutions in Sustainable Land Use and
Development,” was a venue for sharing of the LGU’s best practices on the
mainstreaming of biodiversity, climate change and disaster risk reduction and
management on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan as basis for the local investment
Dr. Andreas Lange ended the forum with a presentation
of the SIMPLE (Sustainable, Integrated Management and Planning of Local
government Ecosystem) Project as a solution to existing land use problems and
concerns especially on the planning processes through integration of the
barangay and provincial plans in the municipal or city plans.
The gains of the country’s advocacy for
transparency and accountability in local governance which was anchored on the
theme, "Strengthening the Journey of Biyaheng Pinoy: Tapat na Palakad, Bayang
Maunlad” were showcased in the Development Talk. The presentations and discussions were on the
areas of solid waste management, administrative governance, environmental
management, social services and the importance of Local Policy Support in the
implementation of Development Programs.
The Western Visayas Local Governance Resource
Consortium or WVLGRC is a partnership of the DILG Local Governance Regional
Resource Center (LGRRC) with the four big universities in the region namely
University of the Philippines-Visayas (UPV), Central Philippine University
(CPU), University of San Agustin (USA) and Western Visayas College of Science
and Technology (WVCST).
In the launching of WVLGRC, Dr. Mary Ann Gumban
of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas presented the consortium’s
programs and services. Also present
during the launch were Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, President of CPU, Dr. Luis
Sorolla, President of the WVCST and Atty. Julius Elvas of USA representing
Father Frederick Comendador.
Dr. Herwig Mayer, who has been a staunch partner
of DILG Region VI in the decentralization program imparted his enthusiasm to
support the current endeavors of LGUs and the Department in Western Visayas.
The awarding of Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Regional
Winners capped the celebration. The
municipality of Anilao headed by Mayor Ma. Teresa "Matet” Debuque was awarded
with a cash prize of P1 million for the municipal category while Iloilo City
bagged the award for the city category with Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog looking
very proud and happy to accept the cash prize of P2 million. The province of Negros Occidental won in the
provincial category and received P3 million cash prize.
Amidst Storm Signal No. 2, the interest and
enthusiasm of local officials in the region triumphed as they showed their
support by attending the said activity.
Several queries and issues were raised during
the open forum showcasing the continuing thirst for knowledge of not just the
chief executives but by the other government agencies as well.
The activity also paved the way for the DILG
Central Management to learn from the LGUs themselves and discuss their concerns
and issues that need to be addressed. It
has opened an avenue not just for sharing of best practices but giving and
receiving feedback as well.