ParaSaBayan Advocacy

In celebration of the Local Government Code’s 25th anniversary in 2016, the Union of Local Authoritiesof the Philippines (ULAP), the umbrella organization of all leagues of local government units and locally elected officials, is undertaking a series of policy dialogues and program advocacies in support of the local government agenda in national government policies. 

The idea first emerged in the series of policy discussions of ULAP with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on increased performance-based incentives and direct downloads of national funds to qualified local governments, which is mainstreamed in the 2016 national budget. ULAP follows through with the concept, the initiative summarizes the continued advocacy direction of local governments units (LGUs) and echoes the spirit by which the Local Government Code is created.The advocacy takes on the theme of #ParaSaBayan: Pagtataguyod ng Makabuluhang Adhikain ng Pamamahalang Lokal (Pursuing Meaningful Agenda for Local Governance) as a slogan to emphasize that the development of towns and communities is commensurate to the development of the country.

In Filipino psychology, bayan is a genuine Filipino concept (dalumat) that triggers meanings of town of origin (i.e., Anong bayan mo? Taga-saang bayan ka?) and of the nation (i.e., Bayang Pilipinas). Hence the campaign will emphasize that pursuing what most responds to the needs of the bayan-as-town is the same as responding to what is best for the bayan-as-country. Para sa aking sariling bayan tungo sa ikauunlad ng ating buong bayan, is the driving idea of the entire advocacy. 

The advocacy also accounts for the participative and inclusive governance, as the developments of the previous years have highlighted and has shown proof of improvement in communities because of the direct engagement of civil society and other non-government sectors in the decision-making and implementation of development initiatives. The elements of transparency and participation have been the foundation of noteworthy programs empowering towns and communities such as the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB), Seal of Good Local Governance (and its corresponding performance incentives: Performance Challenge Fund, KALSADA for provinces, BUB for Barangays), among other expanded national-local programs for universal health care and last-mile efforts for education. Moreover, there is still the continuing discussion of amending the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160), particularly on increasing the shares of the local governments from the national wealth. This direction is also hinged with ULAP’s commitments to the subnational implementation of the Open Government Partnership, and the Innovative Solutions to Open Government Partnership, supporting inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability in local governance. 

The efforts for Good Local Governance necessitates evidence-informed policy making and outcomes-driven approaches to development. Hence the advocacy also pushes for institutionalization and further mainstreaming of programs for local government in line with the Community-Based Monitoring System, and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In this light, the #ParaSaBayan advocacy anchors itself on the following core objectives:

  • Advocate platforms for sustainability and further improvement of policies and programs that pursue autonomy, devolution, and empowerment of local governments and their communities;
  • Identify concrete directions for policy reform to support performance measurements and corresponding incentives for local governments in all levels (provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays), and,
  • Bridge partnerships of local governments with private and civil society organizations that can provide meaningful support to LGUs to meet performance targets.

The campaign will run for 12 months – from November 2015 to October 2016. For the Code Anniversary in October 2016, ULAP and its partners envision a direct dialogue with the new president and gather commitments for the policies and programs pursuing the unified local government agenda.

About ULAP

The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) is the umbrella organization of all leagues of local government units (LGUs) and locally elected government officials, and was formed in 1998, registered in 1999, and further endorsed through Executive Order 35, series of 2004. 

Prior to its creation, ULAP was called the "League of Leagues", which played an important convening role for the local governments to lobby and develop the Local Government Code of 1991. ULAP was created to convene  and represent its member leagues and local governments to national and sub-national policy and program committees in continuous pursuit of strengthening and capacitating LGUs for local autonomy and good governance. 

To know more about ULAP, its role and its composition, and latest news, please click this link.

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