Senator Nancy Binay said lawmakers should first look at how to properly implement the Local Government Code before considering amending the Constitution and shifting to a federal form of government.
Binay said issues like decentralization and strengthening local autonomy are better addressed by strictly implementing the Local Government Code.
“Mas ako ang panawagan ko i-implement muna natin ang Local Government Code kasi iyon ang lumabas sa hearing na kumbaga common complaint ay hindi in-implement fully ang Local Government Code,” the legislator said.
“Actually, more than amending, implementing e. ‘Yun ‘yung nakakalungkot sa atin, kasi ‘yung parang mga ginagawang batas ay suggestion. Hindi siya ini-implement by not funding it. So, ‘di ba, andyan ‘yung batas pero walang pondo. So, wala lang, suggestion lang ‘yung batas,” the lawmaker added.
Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code was enacted in 1991 to decentralize governance and allow autonomy for local government units.
According to Article X Section 3 of the Constitution, the Local Government Code is enacted to provide for a more responsive and accountable structure of local government.
The lady senator said that while the Local Government Code devolved powers to local governments, some of its key features remain unimplemented.
“Siguro baka kailangan mag-download pati ‘yung funding ibigay na natin sa LGU. And then, tingnan natin by empowering them, by funding them kung makakapag-deliver sila. Siguro kung magkaroon ng failure, saka natin tignan baka it’s high time to make changes,” she said.
Binay also added that lawmakers should not rush towards Charter Change and underscored the need for an intensive public consultation and information campaign to help people understand the pros and cons of a new form of government.
“Personally, magandang pag-usapan, pero para sa akin, mahabang proseso. Huwag nating madaliin. Dapat talaga himayin. Kung papalitan natin ‘yung Konstitusyon, ano ‘yung dapat palitan? Kailangan ba mag-change tayo ng form of goverment or may certain provisions lang doon na i-a-amend?” she concluded.