Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 2024 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines

Event 2024 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines
Location Manila Marriott Hotel, Pasay City

Thank you very much to Secretary Anton Lagdameo.

[Please take your seats.]

League of Municipalities of the Philippines National President and La Paz municipal Mayor, Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos; League of Municipalities of the Philippines President Emeritus and Narvacan municipal Mayor Chavit Singson.

We have a lot to learn from Manong Chavit because talagang siya’y siguro sa lahat sa atin dito, siya ‘yung pinakasanay at marami tayong natutunan. Kaya’t lagi akong nakikinig kay Manong Chavit.

League of Municipalities of the Philippines Executive Vice President and Caoayan Municipal Mayor Germelina Goulart; officer and members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines; all of whom are my fellow workers in government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

To all of you here today, thank you for always answering our call for a united and undivided nation.

Since I joined public office more than 40 years ago, I have made it my personal rule not to pass up any chance of meeting town mayors, especially.

I have always believed that if one cannot go to the grassroots, the next best thing is to touch base with local chief executives.

Now that I am in office, that belief has not changed, it has only been strengthened.

Municipalities are not the last outposts of government. Rather, they form the frontlines of government service. You are the first responders to all our people, especially  those in need.

Municipalities are not mere implementers of national progress because you too can initiate your own programs.

Municipalities should not be treated as passive receivers of projects from the National Government. You must actively incubate your own initiatives, your own projects.

Because programs developed by municipalities from below, by leaders who know the conditions on the ground, are better than those policies that are dictated from above, from the ivory towers, from the height of the halls of power because you understand the situation in your area better than anybody else.

And that is why, I believe that many policies must rise bottom up, not all must flow top down.

And this is how we view our 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

It is our commitment to solving the problems of today, while ensuring a better tomorrow.

It means fueling rapid growth, which uplifts the poor and rewards productivity, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet those needs.

It means building better and more without abusingour natural resources; preserving natural capital, such that our children can still continue to live off the interest.

That, in essence, is the purpose of the SDGs.  These 17 ambitious targets serve as the dials on the global dashboard.

They ensure that nations will keep generating shared growth without draining the earth’s resources.

In other words, the SDGs can only be achieved through unified action.

Only by working together, one municipality at a time, can we build a better Philippines and bring the Bagong Pilipinas that we dream of into fruition.

And this is where the localization of SDGs matters.  The best practice is to learn from each other while adapting to context.

Each LGU has its own strengths and limitations, which must all be taken into account.

Each LGU must act, but always in accordance with its capabilities and the needs of its people.

Each LGU has a unique vantage point in localizing the SDGs.

International and national agencies may have— may view the bigger picture. But you, our municipal mayors, have the clearer lens to craft and implement programs and projects that are aligned with the SDGs to improve the quality of life of your constituents.

In like manner must the National Government place itself at the ground level to see what works. That is imperative.

You are on the frontlines of action.  You are our invaluable partners in this endeavor for sustainable growth.

So, to be clear—we are not just pumping you up so that to delegate to you all responsibility of governance.  This Administration remains committed to achieving these SDGs.

In 2024, the National Government will spend PhP457.41 billion pesos for climate change expenditures.

This includes PhP373.45 billion pesos for water security; PhP18.19 billion pesos for sustainable energy; and PhP6.48 billion pesos for environmental and ecological stability.

We will spend a total of PhP2.09 trillion on social services.

But again, National Government cannot act alone.  We must harness the power of LGUs, as well as civil society organizations, the private sector, and communities, towards achieving the SDGs within the committed timeline.

We laud your efforts to localize the SDGs.  As municipal leaders, you are agents of positive change towards sustainable development.

By promoting community participation and engaging your constituents in decision-making processes, you foster a culture of citizen empowerment and community development.

The work of securing the future of our children requires brave, bold visions and bold action.

It is building what is grand, instead of being content with what is piecemeal.

It is the courage to start projects with long building timelines, kahit lumampas na sa mga termino natin kailangan pa rin nating isipin na hindi na bale kung hindi tayo kikilalanin. There is a saying— a very clear saying, if— there is much that can be achieved if people are not fighting for the credit.

Basta’s alam na natin maganda ‘yung ating ginawa, marami tayong natulungan, gumanda ang buhay ng ating mga constituents. Sapat na ‘yun. [applause]

In that way serve the greater good, instead of meekly settling for short gestation periods that are only high in optics and in gimmickry.

It is about going for ambitious projects that span several terms, without regard for who will inaugurate them when completed, instead of picking ones that are ribbon-cutting ready before elections and the campaign.

Hindi naman natin maiwasan talaga ‘yan. Dahil mayroon talaga tayong dapat ipakita na mayroon tayong nagawa, at mayroon tayong mga bagong nailagay sa ating mga constituencies.

Ngunit, ang ating ginagawa ngayon is we are trying to transform. I am hoping that this administration…I am working very hard to make this administration a transformational one. At ibig sabihin niyan ay marami talaga tayong kailangang palitan structurally.

Bakit natin kailangan gawin ‘yun? Kailangan nating gawin ‘yun dahil nagbago na talaga ang mundo at hindi na tayo maaring— at hindi na maaari na ‘yung ginawa natin ‘yung dati pa nating ginagawa.

Kailangan na nating mag-isip ng mga bagong pagtugon sa mga problemang hinaharap natin dito sa lokal pati na sa international economy, global economy, at sa pag-usog ng teknolohiya. Kailangan paghandaan natin. Hindi ito nagagawa sa isang taon. Hindi nagagawa ito sa madalian. Ito ay dahan-dahan nating pinapalitan— ang bureaucracy ng Pilipinas, ang partnership between the government and private sector, ang pagsasama’t pagkakaisa ng national government at saka local government.

Kaya madalas kong sabihin: Mandates should not be wasted on petty things. It should be used for grand things.

Napakalaking bagay na binoboto tayo at nilalagay tayo sa matataas na posisyon na ating inuupuan. Kaya’t gamitin natin ng mabuti ang ibiginigay sa aking— ibinigay sa atin na tiwala ng taong bayan, upang talaga namang kahit na hindi na tayo ang kinikilalang gumawa, basta’t may magandang nangyari para sa ating constituency, may mas magandang buhay ang ating mga kababayan. ‘Yun ang mahalaga. [applause]

So, once again, I congratulate the LMP for its commitment to localizing the SDGs.

Seeing all of you here again, persuades me more than ever that unity, inclusivity, and sustainability are not just academic concepts but are being actualized in all our municipalities.

Mayor JB and to the whole LMP, let us continue to work tirelessly towards making Bagong Pilipinas a reality, one municipality at a time.

In partnership with all our stakeholders, with the national government, with the private sector, with civil society, and of course, with our constituents.

And I wish you all the best of luck. Asahan ninyo na lagi naman nandito ang National Government na nakikinig sa Local Government dahil kailangan na kailangan naming marinig kung ano ba ang tunay na pangangailangan ninyo.

At uulitin ko ‘yung madalas kong sinasabi, dapat pakinggan ang mga local government executives dahil, unang una, kayo lang ang nakakaalam sa lugar ninyo. Wala ng mas expert kaysa sa inyo, sa sitwasyon doon sa lugar ninyo.

Ngunit, ang dala naman ninyo ay hindi palaging problema lamang. Kasama rin diyan ang mga suggested solutions dahil nasa sa inyo— alam din ninyo kung ano ‘yung maaring gawin.

Yung solusyon sa isang bayan hindi necessarily dahil effective ‘yun sa isang bayan eh dadalhin mo sa isang bayan effective din ‘yun. Hindi, kailangan nating tingnan ng mabuti ang sitwasyon na bawat local government unit.

Kailangan ng national government pakinggan ang lahat ng report at saka suggestion, problema na nangyayari sa iba’t ibang local government units, at ang trabaho naman ng national government ay magbigay ng guidance na dito ipapatungo ang ekonomiya. Dito natin papupuntahin ang ating Sistema ng politika. Dito ang ating pagpalit. Dito ang mga pagbabago.

At ‘yan ang guide. Kaya’t sama-sama natin at paghusayan natin sa palagay ko pagka tayo ay nagkaisa at tuluyan nating pagkakaisahan ang trabahong ibinigay sa atin ng ating mga constituent, ay magiging matagumpay ang transformation ng ating minamahal na Pilipinas tungo sa Bagong Pilipinas.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Magandang hapon sa inyo. Mabuhay ang LMP!