Highlighting the importance of cooperation between the national and local government units (LGUs), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. invited Wednesday the local government of the City of Manila and other LGUs to collaborate with his administration to address present challenges confronting the nation.
Speaking during the courtesy call of Manila local officials in Malacañang, President Marcos said it was very important to him to work closely with the LGUs to tackle many problems such as the rising cost of living and other challenges.
“And that’s why it is extremely important that the local government and the national government work very, very closely so that we maximize all our efforts to alleviate the problems that our people face – the rising cost of food, fuel,” the President said in his speech.
“Things are starting to even out, but we still have many problems to face,” he said.
There will be less wastage in resources if there is better coordination between the national and local governments, Mr. Marcos said, adding duplications could also be avoided.
And because of the scarcity of resources, the President called for more prudent use of government money and assets.
“We have to be very careful [on] how we deploy what resources that we have. And again, to maximize those resources we have to be in very close coordination, both the national government and local government such as the City of Manila,” the President said.
Underscoring the importance of the LGUs in the government’s development efforts, Marcos said the national government can hardly reach the grassroots without the assistance of local governments.
Local governments have something in common, the President said, noting they face problems such as water management, traffic congestion, and many others.
Some LGUs may have specific concerns not being experienced by other LGUs, the President said, stressing the important thing is that the national government identifies those problems and provides solutions.
Meanwhile, the government is working to address the challenges facing the business sector, President Marcos Jr. said, highlighting the importance of business and investments in the country’s economic development.
He made the remarks during the 11th Arangkada Philippine Forum 2002, saying that “these challenges include red tape, digitalization, and energy cost.
“I just came from… the Anti-Red Tape Authority. They are working very, very hard to make the ease of doing business in the Philippines a much better situation. We have improved but we have ways to go for that. We talked about digitalization and how important that is going to be to improve the ease of doing business,” the President said.
“A more ticklish problem is that of energy which is another one that keeps coming up and especially with the volatility in the markets now especially when it comes to fuel that has become an even more severe problem than it used to be.
But we are working on it,” the chief executive pointed out.
The long-term plan is to move the mix from traditional fossil fuels to renewables in terms of supply producing more energy, he said.
The President vowed to start constructing power plants even if it takes a few years to build, noting he is not concerned whether they will come online within his term.
To attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs), the Marcos administration has tried to create a closer partnership with the different chambers of commerce because he values the participation of the private sector in the country’s quest for economic positioning in the world.
“I consider the participation of the private sector, both local and foreign, to be absolutely to our success. So that is why we must continue this partnership between the chambers of commerce, the private sector and government,” the chief executive said, adding he expects the forum to open new economic opportunities and revitalize the sectors affected by the pandemic.
The President also said the launch of the administration’s Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and the Eight-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, designed to ensure the full recovery and transformation of Philippine society.
The plan is aimed at ensuring food security, reducing transport and logistics costs, and lessening energy prices.
To realize this goal, the government will need the assistance of foreign governments and private partners to bring in the much-needed investments in modern and efficient farming and fisheries, new transport-logistics infrastructure, as well as new projects in conventional and renewable energy generation, Mr. Marcos added.