Centrist Democratic Local Government Conference

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Centrist Democrats from different parties come together for the first time after the May 2010 Philippine national and local elections.

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40 Provinzgouverneure und Bürgermeister aus allen Landesteilen der Philippinen

40 Governors and Mayors participate in the Centrist Democratic Local Government Conference

In order to further promote decentralization and strengthen the capacities of local government units, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Manila spearheaded the conduct of the Centrist Democratic Local Government Conference held last January 12, 2011, at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City. The co-organizers of the conference include KAS’ partner Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF), the Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Center for Good Governance of the University of Makati, and the Centrist Democratic Movements Federation of the Philippines. Attended by more than 60 provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, representatives from government, the academe, and civil society, the conference successfully brought together various stakeholders to discuss and share key issues on local governance.

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Peter Koeppinger, Resident Representative of KAS to the Philippines, expressed gratitude to the local chief executives who took the time to attend the conference. Underlining the significance of the gathering, Dr. Koeppinger stated that there is a need to bring together centrist democratic local government chief executives to further realize the promises of decentralization as they provide basic services to their constituents. Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, Secretary General and Head of International Programs of KAS, reiterated the need for local governments to come together and discuss local governance issues within the context of ensuring the dignity of every individual in their respective jurisdictions.

In delivering his key note speech, former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., underscored the importance of the current administration adopting a cohesive program to address the housing problem of the country. (Please refer to attached Keynote Speech)

The whole day program provided the participants with the opportunity to discuss with leading experts key issues in three separate sessions namely on 1) the status of local governance and decentralization and possible reforms of the Local Government Code; 2) the housing problems in towns and cities and the social housing program of the current administration; and 3) fiscal decentralization and the role of local government units in ensuring balanced socio-economic development in the Philippines.

A consensus was formed that indeed it is time to review the Local Government Code in order to make it more congruent to local realities. Furthermore, the participants affirmed the principle of decentralization and devolution as a guiding framework for local governance in the light of recent efforts by the government to renationalize previously devolved services such as the delivery of health services. In all the sessions, the need for active participation by the people was highlighted. To answer this challenge, the officers and members of the Centrist Democratic Movement Federation, headed by their National President Roderico Dumaug, Jr., shared their platform and initiatives as a political movement towards the direction of actively engaging government in introducing policy reforms.

Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, a leading Christian Democrat, expressed during the closing ceremonies of the said conference: “It is extremely crucial for Centrist Democrats to converge and discuss the need to strengthen democracy in our country.” He continued to share how Governors and Mayors play an important role because they are the citizens’ link to government. Governors and Mayors are “in the best position to facilitate the empowerment of the people,” he reiterated.

President Ramos expressed support for the Centrist Democratic Movement Federation (CDM), a movement that started early 2010 of young professionals from across the archipelago to “participate in the political life of the country” through a program-oriented centrist movement which later expects to transform into a political party.

Publication series

Event Reports

published

Philippines, January 17, 2011

Contact

Dr. Peter Köppinger

Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the Philippines