SOME 1,000 city and municipal mayors of the country, members of the 1,636-strong Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP) are gathered at the Ritz Hotel at Garden Oases in Barrio Obrero, Davao City for their national convention, February 16-18, 2017.
The VMLP will also hold election of its national officers, whose term ends in 2019.
Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte of Davao City has endorsed his provincemate Vice Mayor Donnabel Joy Ferolino-Mejia of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. If elected, Vice Mayor Mejia will be the first lady-president of the VMLP since its founding in 1988.
The main advocacy of the VMLP is more autonomy in local governance. The VMLP believes that the lesser the LGU’s dependence to the central government, the more effective they can be in the delivery of services to the people. Correlative to this is the VMLP’s more than 10 years campaign to change from the present form of government to federal-parliamentary (unitary) government.
The interim National President, Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, said that “the VMLP is an organization that is directly involved with government officials, that is, vice mayors, who are in the forefront of governance. We know the real and actual needs of the people, their language and their hopes. Pres. Rody Duterte, being a Mayor before and a two-time vice mayor, knows the needs of the people like he knows the back of his hands. The VMLP fully supports him.”
The VMLP is also in the forefront of revising or amending the IRA computation to increase IRA share to the Barangays and LGUs especially those municipalities in the country side, to improve infrastructure investments for farm and aqua-marine areas. Another important project of the VMLP is the local legislative measure for the welfare and protection of children.
The VMLP also supports the use of modern-technology garbage incineration with energy recovery like the ones being used in Japan and Sweden. The league believes that investing in high technology incinerators can solve garbage problem and also contributes to the solution of flooding in the metropolis and add to our energy supply.
Within the VMLP as an organization, the League takes care of its members in the form of medical and health aid, legal assistance and other technical/political support. The VMLP has its training facility, the APO or Academy of Presiding Officers in partnership with the University of the Philippines, NCPAG (National College of Public Admnistration and Governance).