In line with the current Administration’s call to address society’s ill like corruption, unemployment, and regional income inequality, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Zambales kickstarted a national advocacy campaign for “surgical amendments” to the 1987 Constitution under the banner of CORE or Constitutional Reform.
DILG Zambales, led by Provincial Director Armi V. Bactad, CESO V, spearheaded the two-day conduct of Zambales CORE Provincial Roadshow series of activities at Balin Sambali, Iba and Botolan People’s Plaza, Botolan on November 27-28, 2019. Activities during the roadshow include Media Briefing, Town Hall Meeting, CORE Talk and “Balangayan”, attended by over a thousand provincial, municipal, city and barangay officials, private media practitioners, government information officers, campus journalists and representatives from different youth sectors of the 13 Municipalities of Zambales and Olongapo City.
The provincial roadshow was joined by CORE Champion Advocate Atty. Carolyn S. Fariñas, three-term Municipal Mayor of San Felipe, Zambales – now a Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) member of the Province of Zambales, together with Regional Director William L. Beltran of Philippine Information Agency Region 3, Local Government Operations Officer (LGOO) VI Cindy C. Cagalitan, Municipal LGOO (MLGOO) of Masinloc and LGOO VI Kristine Joy B. Pesimo, MLGOO of Subic, who all served as resource persons.
“We want the younger generation and media practitioners to share to their relatives the benefits of Constitutional Reform so we could all be well-informed on how this would affect us and the next generation after us,” said PD Bactad. She further encouraged the local officials to be on board on the advocacy campaign and explained their vital role on the progress of the country. “Sama-sama tayong magsagwan para sa mas maunlad na bansa…mas maunlad na Pilipinas…at mas maunlad na Zambales,” she added.
Among the CORE amendments that is being proposed is to institutionalize the Mandanas decision of the Supreme Court where the high court ruled that the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs should include tax collections of other agencies, not only those collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, thus, increasing the funds to be given to all local government units.
The transformation of the Regional Development Council (RDC) into Regional Development Authority (RDA) with power and funds to implement regional projects and programs and the opening up of the economy to foreign investments for more inclusive growth, among others, were also tackled during the provincial roadshow.
The Department hopes that the purpose of the advocacy campaign will reach more people at the fringes of society as the amendments serve as antidote to the country’s problems by spreading more wealth and political power to the regions.
By: LGOOs II Marasigan and Agostosa