President Rodrigo Roa Duterte pledged assistance to local chief executives on Tuesday, March 20, as he graced the general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP).
“We’re earning… Meron akong i-set aside for you,” the President said in his speech at the Manila Hotel.
The LMP is the principal organization of municipalities in the country.
The three-day general assembly with the theme “Pederalismo: Ngayon Na!” aims to strengthen the support of LMP in the shift towards federalism “with emphasis on the urgency to change the 1987 Constitution to effect such shift.”
During his speech, the President noted that his experience in the local level as mayor of Davao City “has been very helpful” in his job as the country’s Chief Executive.
“As a matter of fact, mas llamado ako sa — if makaiba — no particular president but lalo na ‘yung wala masyadong grasp sa local affairs,” the President said.
“Sa akin madali because I’ll just think of the Philippines as an expanded Davao City and because of the similarly situations all over, you just think a bigger dimension of the problem,” he added.
The President also discussed with the mayors the three problems that beset the country today — illegal drugs, terrorism, and the New People’s Army (NPA).
With regard to the steps of the government to solve the problem in Boracay island, Duterte said he would support the decision of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año.
“Kagabi sabi niya, Boracay, he thinks will take a little bit longer. And I answered him. Sabi ko, ‘General, nandiyan ka. I placed you there. Whatever is your decision, I will support you,’” he said.
“Bahala ka. You just write the recommendation. And if I find everything that is all right and in consonance with the — diretso na. Sabi niya, it will take about something like six months… Do it,” the President further said.
Earlier this month, the President threatened to arrest local officials in Boracay who are uncooperative in the government’s efforts to save the island.
He has cited three basic isues where the government must intervene — health issue or the right of government to intervene to promote public health; public interest; and law and order. ### (PND)