Marcos urges LGUs to 'be open' on PPP programs
MANILA (UPDATE) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has urged city mayors to lead the transformation of the country "from the bottom up," and contribute to the post-pandemic recovery.
Marcos, during his courtesy call with the 146-strong League of Cities of the Philippines in Malacañang, also told city mayors to start their digitalization shift and consider projects hinged on public-private partnerships.
"I think this is the way forward, and I encourage all our local government units to be open to the possibilities of PPPs and to have private-public partnerships, especially in your areas."
In a statement, the President reiterated his administration's plan to continue infrastructure projects, noting that there were offers "to fund big-ticket projects" such as the official development assistance (ODA) and joint ventures.
"May ODA, may private sector, joint venture... Well, you're local government, you know that already. Local government generally cannot do it by itself. We have to find partners, we have to find local partners, we have to find investors. Sanay na kayo diyan (you are already used to it)," he told local executives.
Transforming the country will be possible through them, he said, because the "best talent in government" is in the local government units.
"It's in the cities, it's in the governors, it's in the mayors. Let's keep that truism in our minds and make it, show people that that's exactly what's going to happen, the LGUs can lead the way when it comes to changing the country from the bottom up," said Marcos in a clip shown by Radio Television Malacañang.
"That's what we are going to have to do because we are doing nothing less now than transforming our economy into a post-pandemic [one]" he added.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier urged local government units to seek public-private partnerships to have their projects funded and raise income.
He said LGUs can look into a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme that they could "use in resource generation."
The RTVM video showed that Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte relayed the concerns of city officials. Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos was also present during the event.
During his last meeting with newly-elected governors and mayors, Marcos reiterated the importance of booster vaccination among their constituents, noting the slight uptick in fresh COVID-19 infections.
Video from PTV