Town mayors seek passage of ‘bigger pie, bigger slice’ bill

MANILA: The country’s 1,490 municipal mayors meet Wednesday to review the gains of the past and consolidate their resources for the future. President Aquino is expected to address the mayors’ general assembly at the Manila Hotel with the theme, “Empowerment of LGUs Towards All-Inclusive Growth.”

The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) led by Mayor Leonardo “Sandy” Javier Jr., said in a press statement the mayors are expected to seek Malacanang’s support for resolutions approved in their island cluster conference last year.

This includes an endorsement for Congress to prioritize the approval of the proposed “Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice” bill that seeks to increase the automatic annual shares of local government units from the collections of the national taxes.

In his written message on the eve of the assembly, the President said the municipalities are critical segments of government and tagged them as “front liners, first responders, and local stewards.”

‘Forging alliances’

He added they are tasked to deliver vital services to the people and ensure the growth and development of communities.

“I fully welcome this gathering which seeks to enhance your competencies through various capacity-building measures and knowledge-sharing exercises,” Aquino said.

“May you take advantage of this opportunity to forge alliances with fellow localities and harness your collective strength to advance shared interests and aspirations,” he added.

The President said the event comes at a most favorable time when the country is experiencing unprecedented revitalization across all sectors of society.

“At this juncture in our history, your government counts on you, our local executives, to be at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the fruits of ongoing resurgence reach the countryside and benefit all Filipinos,” he said.

The President asked them to remain faithful to their oaths as public servants, “as we commit to this great task and fulfill our sacred charge to lead our people towards a more inclusive, more equitably progressive future.”

Meanwhile, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Rep. Mel Sarmiento of Samar and key cabinet officials, led by Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, are also expected to address the assembly.

The other invited resource speakers are secretaries Rogelio Singson of public works, Corazon Soliman of social welfare and Jericho Petilla of energy.