Local execs told: Embark on projects with long-term benefits

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Local execs told: Embark on projects with long-term benefits
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. graces the 2024 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines at a hotel in Pasay City on February 27, 2024. /The Philippine STAR
STAR / KJ Rosales / PPA Pool

MANILA, Philippines — With the midterm elections just over a year ahead, President Marcos is reminding local executives to embark on ambitious projects with long-term benefits for constituents and which are insulated from changes in leadership.

Speaking at the general assembly yesterday of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, Marcos also urged the officials not to waste their mandates on “petty things,” but instead promote community participation and engagement with constituents in decision-making processes.

“It is the courage to start projects with long building timelines, even if these go beyond our terms, it doesn’t matter if we don’t get the recognition. There’s a saying – a very clear saying – there is much that can be achieved if people are not fighting for the credit,” the President said.

“In that way serve the greater good, instead of meekly settling for short gestation periods that are only high in optics and in gimmickry,” he said.

“It is about going for ambitious projects that span several terms, without regard for who will inaugurate them when completed, instead of picking ones that are ribbon-cutting ready before elections and the campaign,” the President said.

The country will hold its senatorial and local elections in May next year.

Marcos also enjoined the mayors to continue to craft and implement programs and projects that are aligned with the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), launched in 2015 as the world’s shared plan to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet by 2030.

Marcos, who served as governor and representative of Ilocos Norte in separate terms, said local government units have a unique vantage point in localizing the SDGs to improve the quality of life of their constituents.

“It (SDGs) means building better and more without abusing our natural resources; preserving natural capital, such that our children can still continue to live off the interest. That, in essence, is the purpose of the SDGs,” the President said.

“I keep on saying this: mandates should not be wasted on petty things. It should be used for grand things,” he said.

The national government will spend P457.41 billion this year for climate change expenditures, according to Marcos.

This includes P373.45 billion for water security, P18.19 billion for sustainable energy and P6.48 billion for environmental and ecological stability.

He said the administration has also allotted P2.09 trillion for social services.

“But again, national government cannot act alone. We must harness the power of LGUs, as well as civil society organizations, the private sector and communities, towards achieving the SDGs within the committed timeline,” Marcos said.

Over 1,000 municipal mayors, led by LMP national president La Paz, Abra Mayor Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos, attended the gathering.

Before delivering his message, Marcos was presented a manifesto of support.

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