THIS is the tone of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) when it issued in October 2019 the Memorandum Circular 2019-172, reminding the local government units (LGU) to finish their updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and new Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) on or before June 2020.
Why this reminder and warning? DILG source said that as of first week November, only 58 percent of LGUs have done their job. This is barely two percent increase from 48 percent in 2015.
With barely six months to deadline I doubt whether the rest could complete their assignment because good crafted CLUP and CDP by a well-trained, experienced and dedicated team could be done in four to six months. My calculation is that only three to five percent more could finish theirs.
But more than the compliance time pressure of the memorandum, the DILG meant to remind the LGUs of the importance of these two basic platforms. These embody the basic sentiments, needs, hopes and aspirations of the people.
These are not mere documents for exhibitions, or the ego of local officials. These are, or supposed to be, the results or the products of participatory governance, through which, they can pursue their dreams of a better quality of life with dignity.
Fellow Negrense retired DILG USEC Austere Panadero had a succinct appreciation of this, it is the heart and soul of local government.
Unfortunately, the DILG data speaks of the reality of local governance, not what we only often hear or told about by local officials and their buddies and cheering squads.
Most LGUs are controlled by political dynasties, where public services are token in nature and serve as political leverage to strengthen their interests, and where they run the bureaucracy as political patrons, installing political and economic indebtedness to them.
This explains why not a few LGUs don’t know how to prepare CLUP and CDP and don’t even respect and follow their mandate and tasks provided by Local Government Code and other national laws and issuances.
Worse, countless capacity development and technology transfer trainings are provided to LGU officials yearly, yet their effects are hardly manifested in LGUs performances.
At any rate, I really do hope that the MC 2019-172, and the MC 2019-189 or the guidelines in preparing and updating the CLUP and CDP, will be taken as a wakeup call to LGUs to fulfill their mandated tasks.
Otherwise, they have no reason to stay in public service because their fat salaries and numerous perks are from the taxes of the blood and sweat of citizens provided to those who will serve them.