2024 budget allocates more funds for local government units

THE proposed P5.768-trillion 2024 national budget contains more funds for local government units (LGUs) to allow them to deliver more services to the people, Speaker  Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said Thursday. 

In remarks keynoting the awarding of the Seal of Good Local Governance to outstanding LGUs at the Manila Hotel, Speaker Romualdez also said his office is open to having better collaboration between LGUs and the House of Representatives.

Speaker Romualdez told about 1,000 local and national officials attending the awarding ceremony that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is set to sign the proposed budget for next year in a few days. 

He said the House crafted the budget “to bring about balanced development, propagating progress not just in urban areas but across the archipelago, so that every Filipino, from the northernmost provinces to the southernmost islands, can thrive with peace and abundance.”

It outlines the funds for infrastructure projects, educational reforms, healthcare improvements, business development, and agricultural support, he said.

“It also contains provisions for the effective implementation of the Mandanas ruling, ensuring that local governments have the resources at the local level. We hope that the inclusion of these provisions will encourage more LGUs to endeavor to take on the challenge of attaining the Seal of Good Local Governance,” he said.

The Supreme Court’s Mandanas ruling, so-called because it was Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas who filed the petition that prompted the pronouncement, increases the share of LGUs from national revenues.

The leader of the 300-plus strong House encouraged more local government officials to aspire for the Seal of Good Local Governance awarded by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“We understand that undertaking this endeavor may seem difficult for first-timers. What today’s awardees show is that it can be done,” he said.

He promised support for local officials “who desire to empower our fellow Filipinos so that they are able to pursue their ambitions.”

“My office is open to establishing an institutional mechanism that will enable and facilitate better coordination between the House of Representatives and local government units,” he said.

Speaker Romualdez congratulated the 493 LGUs and their officials for qualifying this year for the good governance seal.

“I can only imagine the challenges you faced in meeting all the criteria for the award, but through perseverance, ingenuity and grace from the Almighty, you were able to successfully clear these hurdles. Your success at institutionalizing good governance in your respective jurisdictions is a bright beacon illuminating the trail for other LGUs to follow,” he said.

At the same time, he commended and thanked the DILG “for continuing this laudable program.”

“The Seal of Good Local Governance Awards is a welcome break from the ineffective punitive method through which traditional public administration enforced compliance. With the Seal, the establishment of good governance has been incentivized, providing qualified LGUs with the wherewithal by which more and better citizen-centric reforms may be pursued and sustained,” he said.

The House leader urged national and local officials to “continue working together, inspiring each other to build a Philippine economy that is stronger and more inclusive.”

“With everyone’s cooperation, I am confident that we will reach our shared national aspirants in the very near future,” he said.

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