Tagbilaran City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso is now first vice president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), representing the vice mayors to the mother of all local leagues (LGUs) in the country.
ULAP organized its interim National Executive Board (NEB) to carry on its mandate as the umbrella organization of all local government units (LGUs) and locally-elected officials nationwide.
This is while some ULAP member leagues are yet to elect their respective national heads.
Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara has acted as ULAP interim president and Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson as chairman.
Singson and Bichara are the new president and chairman, respectively, of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), which national secretary-general is Gov. Edgar Chatto.
Sitting in the ULAP-NEB, the vice mayor of Boholâ€™s only city is bringing the voice of the countryâ€™s over 1,600 city and municipal vice mayors, who are also sanggunian presiding officers.
Veloso is the interim national president of the Vice Mayorsâ€™ League of the Philippines (VMLP), which had not been headed by any Boholano â€“ and Tagbilaranon â€“ before him.
The VMLP will yet elect its new president during its national convention in Bohol next year, although presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte has reportedly offered to host the event.
Hitting the ground running, the ULAP-NEB met at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City on Thursday during which Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Emmanuel PiÃ±ol and Department of Health (DOH) Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial presented their policies and programs for the LGUs.
The DA panel also had Usec. Ariel Cayanan, who handles the operations division and is at the same time national director of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).
The DOH presented its service delivery networks, collaboration with the LGU on the needs and issues arising from the anti-drug and anti-crime drives, health facilities enhancement, and reproductive health advocacy.
The proposed shift to federalism was likewise presented to the ULAP-NEB by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Task Force led by Usec. Emily Padilla.
Others at the top of the ULAP-NEB are vice chairman Maria Fe Villar-Brondial, mayor of Socorro, Oriental Mindoro and national president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and executive vice president Edgardo Pamintuan, mayor of Angeles City and national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP).
Veloso is the first vice president while Isabela Vice Gov. Antonio Albano and Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano, wife of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, are the second and third vice presidents, respectively.
Nueva Ecija Board member Edmund Abesamis, national president of the Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB), is the secretary-general.
ULAP’s member leagues are the LPP, LCP, LMP, VMLP, LnB, League of Vice Governors of the Philippines (LVGP), Provincial Board Membersâ€™ League of the Philippines (PBMLP), Philippine Councilorsâ€™ League (PCL), National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) and Lady Local Legislatorsâ€™ League of the Philippines (Four-L).
As requested by Congress, the ULAP would formalize its positions or comments on some vital issues and concerns like the proposed Traffic Crisis Act of 2016.
Veloso said the issues include the needed provision for the direct remittance to the host LGU of its 40% share from the national wealth and some amendments to the Local Government Code of 1991.
The amendments seek to rationalize the income requirement for the creation of province and municipality and declaration of highly-urbanized status for component cities.
Other concerns involve the creation of human resource management office in the LGUs, changes to the Solo Parents Welfare Act, and House resolution urging ULAP to organize indigenous peopleâ€™s mandatory representatives.
Veloso said the latter is believed to contribute to the effective and responsive formulation of national laws and policies. (Ven rebo Arigo)