INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos on Wednesday reminded local government units (LGUs) not to be tunnel-visioned in their local infrastructure initiatives.
He instead advised them to make sure that all their projects are geared towards development and must cater to the real needs of the people in their respective communities.
Abalos made the call during the Kwentong Tagumpay: Innovative Practices in Local Infrastructure Governance event held in Parañaque City, in a speech delivered for him by DILG Undersecretary Odilon Pasaraba.
In his address, Abalos stressed that local infrastructure projects must not be blindly treated as the sole indicator of progress, just for the purpose of “mindlessly expending precious government resources on building for the sake of building.”
“Lagyan po natin ng puso ang imprastraktura at iangkla ito sa pagpapabuti ng buhay ng ating mga kababayan. Let us view infrastructure not as an end, but a means toward an improved life for everyone,” he added.
Abalos also urged LGUs to harness, learn, and adopt the governance reforms espoused by the Kwentong Tagumpay narratives and ensure that their infrastructure projects are planned with foresight, are participatory,and human development-oriented.
“Isinasalamin ng Kwentong Tagumpay ang kahalagahan ng mabuting pamamahala ng LGUs sa kanilang imprastraktura. Sama-sama po tayo sa pagsulong ng mga proyektong makapagpapabuti at makatutugon sa mga pangangailangan ng ating mga komunidad,” he said.
During the occasion, Abalos cited as an example Iloilo Province’s Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) Movement, which resulted in the improvement of the overall sanitation in the 1,721 barangays of the province.
The ZOD movement also helped in the reduction of food, water-borne and soil-transmitted diseases, and overall improvement in the nutritional status and quality of life of the local residents.
The Kwentong Tagumpay event serves as a platform among LGUs for learning the latest technological and practical innovations in local infrastructure governance.
It particularly caters to local economic enterprise development, disaster risk reduction and other vertical infrastructure systems, smart governance, local roads, and water supply and sanitation.
As of October 2023, some 13,625 roads had already been administered nationwide under the DILG’s various locally-funded projects.