NOTE: THIS PRESS RELEASE WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
First District Representative Edgar Chatto headlined the Opening Ceremony of the Philippine Local Governance Forum 2021.
Themed, “The Wonders of Devolution: 30 Years of Strong and Empowered Local Governments,” the forum recognizes the efforts and contributions of local governments in nation-building in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act 7160.
An advocate of fiscal and local autonomy, Chatto was among powerhouse speakers from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Local Government Academy (LGA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Leagues.
Having gone through the transition, himself as then-mayor of Balilihan, Chatto spoke about his insights to the Philippine Devolution in retrospect.
“Let us give trust in our institutions as well as three decades of preparation and experience under the Local Government Code a chance to find its balance and fly,” Chatto said of devolution in the country.
He said addressing challenges such as fund resources and revisions in the law will allow LGUs to effectively meet the growing needs of their constituents, also touching on the game-changing Mandanas-Garcia ruling that will increase national tax allocation to LGUs.
The continued assistance and support from the national government, linkage through the various leagues, participation of the civil society will strengthen the empowerment of LGUs to deliver the best services to the community, he said.
Organized by the DILG Local Government Academy, the month-long forum aims to support and guide LGUs in transitioning towards full devolution, highlighting empowerment, participation, and capacity development.
Chatto was chosen as the speaker for his extensive experience in both the executive and legislative branches, also having been founding Secretary-General of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) while serving as National President of the Vice Governor’s league of the Philippines and personally coined the name ULAP as an umbrella organization of all local government leagues. He also became Secretary-General of the League of Provinces and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP).
He spoke alongside DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, Department of Budget and Management Usec. Rolando Toledo, ULAP president Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua, LPP president Gov. Presbytero Velasco, LMP president Mayor Luis Singson, League of Councilors of the Philippines president Evelio Leonardia, and Liga ng mga Barangay president Eden Pineda during the opening ceremony.