By Azer Parrocha

PRUDENT. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets Manila local government officials in a courtesy call at Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (Dec. 7, 2022). In his speech, Marcos reminded local government units (LGUs) to be more prudent in the use of government funds and assets, citing the scarcity of resources and limited fiscal space. (Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos’ Facebook page)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday reminded local government units (LGUs) to be more prudent in the use of government funds and assets, citing the scarcity of resources and limited fiscal space.

“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,” Marcos said in a speech during a courtesy call of Manila local officials at Malacañan Palace.

He said there will be less wastage in resources if there is better coordination between the national and local governments.

Marcos also underscored the importance of cooperation between the national and local governments to collaborate to address present challenges confronting the nation such as the rising cost of living and other challenges.

“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,” Marcos said.

“Things are starting to even out but we still have many problems to face. Masyado pang maraming naghihirap na Pilipino na nangangailangan ng tulong. Kaya’t kailangan ay maganda ang pag-ugnayan ng LGU at ng national government (There are too many poor Filipinos in need. That is why the LGU and national government need better collaboration),” he added.

He acknowledged that LGUs face similar problems such as water management, traffic congestion and many others.

He said his administration is determined to provide solutions to these problems.

Marcos said the national government could hardly reach the grassroots without the assistance of LGUs.

“Kaya’t ang nararamdaman ng taong bayan ay ‘yung ginagawa hanggang barangay level (So what the people of the town feel is what is done up to the barangay level),” he said.

Kung wala ‘yang mga ‘yan, walang nararamdaman ‘yung tao kahit na napakaganda ‘yung mga plano, napakaganda ng mga programa, hindi aabot. Kaya’t kailangan na kailangan namin ng tulong ninyo (Without those, people feel nothing even if the plans are very good, the programs are very good, they will not reach the intended recipients. That’s why we need your help). We really need the help of the local governments to guide us),” he added.

Marcos said his meeting with Manila local officials marks the start of efforts to “find ways, in the future, to work more closely” and address problems at the grassroots level.

Among the officials present in the courtesy call are Mayor Honey Lacuna and Vice Mayor John Marvin Nieto; Representatives Ernesto Dionisio Jr. (1st District), Rolando Valeriano (2nd District), Joel Chua (3rd District), Edward Maceda (4th District), Erwin Tieng (5th District), Bienvenido Abante Jr. (6th District); Liga ng mga Barangay — Manila Chapter President Leilani Marie Lacuna, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation President Daniel Dave Tan and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Manila is home to the seat of the Philippine government and 2 million Filipinos, according to Mayor Lacuna. (PNA)