President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged local chief executives on Friday to forge international tie ups with their counterparts from other countries to learn best practices in improving the delivery of public services as he vowed for continuous government support.

“Let me challenge our mayors to not only make the most out of this forum. Let us make good use of this forum,” President Marcos said during the Philippine Mayors’ Forum in Quezon City. 

In his speech, President Marcos said that programs similar to the forum is “a very effective multiplier” in terms of the efforts of the government and the support of the United Nations (UN) that will accelerate in the capacity-building of the local governments. 

President Marcos said that the local chief executives should make use of the UN program and take advantage of the knowledge, of the training, of the experience that the organization has gained not only in the Philippines but all around the world. 

The President added that the learnings from the UN programs should be applied and amplified to their constituents. 

“In that way, we are able to achieve more. So we must also explore international partnership such as that with your counterpart, not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well. In that way, we will learn the best, best practices in improving public service delivery,” President Marcos said. 

“I assure you, our mayors, that this administration will remain your leading partner in enhancing your capacities to achieve our sustainable development goals and Ambisyon Natin 2040,” he added. 

According to the President, the Forum is the most opportune time for the national government agencies and LGUs to come together—with the support of international partners—to augment our strategies and approaches towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The gathering, titled, “Philippine Mayors Forum: Innovation, Digital Governance, and Resiliency Building Towards Accelerated Implementation of the 2030 Agenda” also reaffirms the administration’s commitment to making the government more transparent, responsive, and accessible to the public.

The President expressed hope that the discussions would result in the wider adoption of multi-level governance; the rise of smarter and more sustainable communities; and the emergence of stronger and more resilient local institutions.

While the Mayors Forum, which coincides with the 32nd Anniversary of the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991, provided the country with guidelines on devolution, efficiency, and self-sustainability, he said that there are new challenges that should be addressed by both the local and national governments.

“I welcome this forum which seeks to harness the power of innovation, digital governance, and resiliency-building to ensure that the government can better respond to the demands of the times and, when I speak of government, I speak of government at every level,” Marcos noted.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is holding the Philippine Mayors Forum in collaboration with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The event is aimed at highlighting the vital role of the LGUs in the attainment of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

It is designed to empower LGUs as allies of the government while also emphasizing their critical contribution to the implementation of SDGs towards achieving Ambisyon Natin 2040.  

The localization of the SDGs is vital, being at the core of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.

The PDP is based on the Marcos administration’s eight-point socio-economic agenda, serving as the country’s overall economic blueprint in development planning for the next six years. | PND

Photo Courtesy of PCO