Iloilo City – Four major events marked the day-long celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Local Government Code here which was spearheaded by DILG Region VI in partnership with the German Development Cooperation and the Canadian Urban Institute.
The four major events were the Regional Land Use Forum, Development Talk, launching of Western Visayas Local Governance Resource Consortium, and Gawad Pamana ng Lahi Regional Awarding Ceremony.
The 2nd Regional Land Use Forum, with its theme, “Challenges and Proposed Solutions in Sustainable Land Use and Development,” served as a venue for sharing of the local government unit 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 programming.
On the other hand, the gains of the country’s advocacy for transparency and accountability in local governance 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.
Another highlight was the launching of the Western Visayas Local Governance Resource Consortium (WVLGRC), which is a partnership of the DILG Local Governance Regional Resource Center (LGRRC) and 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).
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 of GIZ Decentralization Program 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. Emerging as winners were the municipality of Anilao for the municipality category, Iloilo City for the City Category, and the province of Negros Occidental for the provincial category. Winning LGUs received each received a plaque of recognition, a trophy and cash prize of P1-million for municipality, P2-million for city, and P3-million for province.
DILG Undersecretary Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez, who graced the said event as Guest of Honor, 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.
More than 300 local chief executives, heads from the national government agencies, academe, non-government organizations and other stakeholders attended the affair which was held at the Rose Memorial Auditorium of Central Philippine University.
Several queries and issues were raised during the open forum showcasing the continuing thirst for knowledge of not just the chief executives but as well as by the other government agencies. - Christine S. Palma