THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will consult local chief executives on solutions and rules before they are implemented, its new chief said Friday, July 15, 2022.
“What is important is the consultation with the national and the local government,” DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said during his visit to the Cebu Provincial Capitol. “That should always be the case because the strength of our country when it comes to governance is also always not only with the president but also with our local officials.”
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia agreed with the Secretary’s approach to first consult local government units for smoother implementation of rules.
“He honors Cebu and the Cebuanos by doing this. It is like a breath of fresh air. Makaginhawa ba gyud tawn ta,” the governor said. “Because as I have heard from the Secretary himself, we need to work together, National Government and Local Government. That way we can hope to achieve great things ahead.”
Garcia also assured Abalos of her support for the national government’s agenda.
“We are here naman on the ground ready to support the agenda of the national government even as we are now confident that local government units will also be given the due courtesy and regard as local government units and local chief executives that have responsibility to our own constituents,”Garcia said.
During the Duterte administration, Garcia tangled with the DILG over their differences in approach to the management of the coronavirus disease pandemic, after the governor invoked the Local Government Code to impose her own policies for the Province of Cebu.
Among the policies Garcia instituted that differed from those of the national government were her less restrictive quarantine policies for returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers, and on making the wearing of face masks in well-ventilated and open spaces in Cebu Province optional.
Abalos said he sought to strengthen relations with Cebu province and other local governments for the smoother enforcement of government regulations. (ANV, CTL)