League of Vice-Governors of the Philippines 62nd National Assembly

Pag siya nag i-introduce sakin, ninenerbyos ako, dahil mashadong maraming alam syempre pinsan ko siyang buo, baka naman ikwento niya lahat ng aming nagagawa nung kami’y bata, at kami ay pipapagalitan ng aming mga magulang. Pero ngayon, mali yung nerbyos ko, dabat ni-nerbyos ako kasi nasabi niya na ata lahat ng sasabihin ko sa speech ko, mag iisip nanaman ako ng bago.

Nevermind, thank you very much for my very kind causin and beyond anything else maraming salamat sayo, sa iyong introduction.

I would like to greet the National President of the League of Vice-Governors, Vice-Governor Odi Fausto, and I just wanted to ask Vice-Gov Odi, mukang may alam siya.

Lahat tayo mga government-elected officials. Marami tayong inaatendan na programa. Ngayon lang ako naka-attend ng programa, dalawa ang prayer! Bakit ba? May alam siguro si Vice-Gov, baka sabi niya siguro itong audience natin, hindi sapat ang isa, kailangan gawing dalawa. And baka ang dahilan kung bakit may kailangan pang dalawa ang prayer, Vice Governor Tonypet Albano, he is your Region II Chairman.

Ang ating host, Mayor Jeff Soriano. Welcome back to your hometown. Pero balita ko magbabakasyon ka na naman, parang hindi ka nakaka tiyak kung gusto mong mag mayor o hindi ano? You must decide soon, dahil malapit nang mag filling sa comelec.

Vice-Governor Bonz Dolor of Oriental Mindoro, who is your chairman, na napaka ganda ng kanyang mga salita, at sa halip na sinasasabi niya na, yung mga vice-governor na ‘yun, wala namang abmisyong mag vice-governors na ito, pero inisa-isa niya kung paano ang magagandang paraan ang vice-governor maging governor.

And of course our special guest, Congressman Mark Villar of Las Pinas. Who, since I feel that I am from this part of the country, I feel that I am one of your hosts.

Welcome to Northern part! This is his first time in Tuguegarao City. Pasikatan kung ano ang meron dito sa Norte.

Syempre, of course, our Vice Governors all around the country. The municipal mayors who are here today, our officials from the Province of Cagayan, the board members of the province of Cagayan, and all the other guests who have come here this evening.

Good evening. Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.

Well, I first received your invitation, nakita ko agad yung theme, LVGP: “Looking forward to 2016”. Ano ‘yan sinadya ninyo para matakot yung mga gobernor ninyo? Hindi na kayo makapag antay ng election, alam na ninyo ang gagawin ninyo.

But having been a Vice Governor myself, I supposed, pareho pala tayo, you have heard all the jokes, you have heard all of the things that I said about the governors of waiting, mayors of waiting, nag aantay-antay.

Last time we were together, I remember quoting to you bago kayo ni Maseda maka-trabaho ng vise, eh mag antay ng heart attack. So, I guess we have to… Vice Governors specially, dapat siguro nating ipakita, meron parin tayong, meron tayong ginagawa, hindi lang nag aantay mayroon din po tayong ginagawa. Hindi lang nag aantay na mag gobernador kung hindi eh kayo’y tapat sa ating trabaho bilang residing officer ng inyong mga sanggunian. It is the most important job.

Some people don’t understand, maraming hindi nakakaunawa kung ano ang halaga ng ginagawa ng Vice Governor. And that is why I have always felt that many of our local government officials, at lagi kong sinasabi and Vice-Governors are included on that, “it’s not only because I was a Governor and only because I am a Vice Governor or because I am the Chairman of Committee on Local Government.

It is because I truly believe,I tell to anyone who cares to listen that I believe, having been in a local government, having been in national government, having worked with just about all of the personalities in government. I really truly believe some of the best talent in government is in local government.

Because in local government, sometimes as legislators kung minsan kapag senador, and I think Cong. Mark will agree with me. Pagka hindi ka masyadong maraming ginagawa, mag tatalumpati ka lang pwede na.

Pero ang local government, hindi kakayanin na basta’t salita lang ang inyong ginagawa. Kailangan na makita ng taong bayan na araw araw niyong pinapakita, na araw araw niyong kinakausap na yung pinangako niyo, inyong sinasabi ay talagang inyong ginagawa, kung hindi ay sisisihin kayo.

That is why we are forced to be imaginative and we know that the assets, the resources available to a local government is never enough. And that is why that is something that we have been trying to work on, As the Chairman of committee on Local Government.

As you all know, I have been on the last almost over 6 months, working on one single rather complicated bill and that is the draft BBL.

And I bring this up… baka sasabihin ninyo “ano kinalaman nito sa amin. Kami naman ay wala sa Mindanao. Kami ay Vice-Governor what does that have to do with my province? What does that have to do with the place that I come from.” Wala naman, at malayo naman ‘yan.

Well, I do bring it up because I think that it is important that everyone around the country understands what is at stake with the draft BBL with the formation of the Bangsamoro Government.

It is important that everybody be part of the discussion and debate. And the reason why it is important is because it affects every single citizen of the Philippines. Not only those from Mindanao, not only does in Muslim Mindanao, not only our Muslim brothers and sisters, but all Filipinos.

Allow me to explain to you why. Right now, let me just give you a status report, dahil marami tayong naririnig, marami akong napapansin na report sa mga pahayagan, sa telebisyon, at nakikita, naririnig, at napapanood sa telebisyon.

Ito’y natigil na, nade-delay, hina-harang, etc. etc. For your information nung last week ng session, which was last week, ay saka lang natapos ang period of the hearings on BBL. And that’s why from there on, inabutan nang adjournment, so we are going now into recess and in recess, I will still have to continue working to write the BBL. And I will provide amendments or create a substitute bill.

Bakit kailangan gawin yun? Bakit di namin ipinasa? Kagaya nung hinihingi ng palasyo; “basta ipasa na lang ninyo.” At bakit kami laging nagrereklamo? Wag niyo kaming minamadali. Dahil noong nakita namin ang draft BBL, kaming lahat ay nagulat na ang dami pang kailangang ayusin.

Number one, everybody has been hearing about the constitutional infirmities that are being mentioned about the BBL.

Kahit maganda lahat at aayusin natin lahat ng nasa draft BBL, kung ang constitutional infirmities ay masyadong malalaki, at ito’y husgahan ng Supreme Court na unconstitutional, mamamatay kaagad yung batas. Kagaya nung nangyari doon sa MOA-AD, noong nakaraan sa panahon ni GMA na it was been unconstitutional and that was the end of it. Nakasuhan yung batas.

Now I really believe that this is an extraordinary opportunity for us to take some of the first steps to peace in Muslim Mindanao. We have taken some of those steps previously. We have the Tripoli agreement. We have the 1996 Jakarta agreement. Now we come to this comprehensive agreement with the MILF. And now, the draft BBL creating the Bangsamoro government.

What is it that is constitutionally infirm about this bill? If one makes the constitution. That constitution says that the first congress after the constitution will form two autonomous regions in the Philippines.

The Cordillera Autonomous Region did not succeed because of the plebiscite did not succeed. And the Cordillera Autonomous Region was broken down. But in the ARMM, it won supporters in different provinces, nabuo ngayon ang ARMM.

And that is the constitutional question that was being raise. Paano tayo gagawa ng pangatlo? Dahil ang nakalagay sa constitution, ay the the first congress lamang ang maaaring gumawa autonomous region and they can only create two.

The first act of the Bangsamoro government is to abolish the ARMM and all its offices. Then the Bangsamoro parliament will put it together again.

We will write the administrative code para maging gobyerno, but the argument is how can we make the third autonomous region. Clearly, that’s not in the constitution, the constitution does not speak of a third one. And it only speaks of the first congress creating an Autonomous region.

These are some of the problems that we had.

Secondly, if we go to the BBL, makikita ninyo, na merong halimbawa, na nakalagay sa isang probisyon, “All the powers and functions that are given to a local government official, are guaranteed until the Bangsamoro government except in the interest of good governance when the Bangsamoro parliament may pass a law to amend the powers of functions.

Papaano ngayong masasabi ng isang Bangsamoro parliament, ng local government or be it a regional government na kaya nilang amendahan ang batas na napasa sa kongreso? Kaya’t ‘yan ang mga nagiging problema natin.

Another point, I think you must’ve heard about this argument also, magkakaron sila ng sariling COA, magkakaron sila ng sariling Comelec, magkakaron sila ng sariling Civil Service, sariling Ombudsman or Ombudsman office, sariling Commission on Human rights.

These bodies are constitutional bodies. They were created by the constitution. Therefore, you cannot diminish the powers by saying, you cannot apply, you do not have jurisdiction over a certain part of the country. Dahil nakalagay dyan sa constitution, lahat ng auditing will be done by COA, lahat ng election will be done by comelec, and lahat ng bureaucracy ay kasama sa CSC.

So these are the problems that we are facing now. And now of course after Mamasapano, ay naging issue yung sa Bangsamoro police. Kasi sa Bangsamoro police, ay mag tatayo, maglalagay tayo ng Bangsamoro police, kung babasahin natin ang draft BBL, ang Bangsamoro police ay nasa ilalim ng operational control o nasa ilalim ng Chief Minister.

Ngayon, nung nakikipag usap ako sa ating mga negotiator, tinanong ko sa kanila, “Kung ang Chief Minister ay mag utos na “habulin niyo ang taong yan” at sinabi, may order na galling sa Chief PNP na, “wag niyong gawin yan”, sino ang masusunod?” Hindi ako masagot.

Sabi nila, “Well it will still be under the Chief PNP pero kung may conflict, the Bangsamoro government will negotiate with the National government. Pano nangyari yun kako? Edi parang naging pantay na ang Bangsamoro government sa National government? Dahil sabi ko, sa local government, ni minsan hindi nangyari na nakipag negotiate ang probinsya sa national government. Kung ano man ang policy ng national government, ano ang gagawin natin? Sunod. Kung ano yung batas, sunod. Hindi tayo nakikipag negotiate yung Bangsamoro government sa National government. Kaya kailangan nating liwanagin mabuti yan.

There are many areas where functions may collide or if they are not harmonized, magkakaroon ng problema sasabihin nila, “We will negotiate.” In fact, we have set up within the law specifically for that function: an inter-governmental committee na will resolve these issues. And I said “How can you say that this is not a state within a state. That you are apart from the Philippines where you are being in a Philippine of an equal basis. And these are very serious constitutional questions.

There are many functions also that are given to the Bangsamoro government that are not given to any LGUs’. And of course, what again the particular issues of the LGUs will be the share in the national wealth.

I do not know if you read the Bangsamoro Basic Law but in the Bangsamoro Basic Law, all taxes collected in bangsamoro will remain in Bangsamoro.

Let us follow a 60% sa government, ang Bangsamoro 100% kanila. Ang kanyang share to the National wealth, mining. Tayo 90%, sila sa 70-75%. Pano nagyari ‘yan? At bukod pa doon, this is another thing that should be of interest pof other LGUs’, the so called ‘Block Grant’. Because nagbibigay tayo sa ARMM ng 24, this year 24.3 Billion ang budget ng ARMM. Meron na pong breakdown yung kongreso. So ang mangyayari, ite-take cover ng Bangsamoro government yung budget ng ARMM. So magkakaron sila more or less 24-25 Billion. Bukod pa roon, yung mga IRA ng mga Local Governments ay kinukulekta parin. Above that will be the so called Block Grant that are about 35-36 Billion every year. So ang tanong dyan, saan manggagaling ang pondong yan? Edi sa inyo. Edi sa ibang Local government, dahil hindi manggagaling sa Bangsamoro government. Lahat yan, that is 75 Billion pesos that used to avail for local government na hindi na mag uupgrade.

Now, the argument is, and it is a reasonable argument is that naiwan iwanan na kasi ang Zamboanga, ang Mindanao, dahil sa gera, dahil sa ganitong dahilan, hindi na tayo inaalagaan ng Maynila. And it is true.

We have allowed Mindanao to fall behind in the development. But if we are to make this very large payments to this new government, siguro naman ay kailangan din nating tiyakin na ang mga pondo dyan ay magagamit sa tama. Because we are doing this because according to the Palace, ARMM is a failed experiment. Well for arguments’ sake tanggapin natin. It is a failed experiment. But upon the failures of ARMM is that sa laki ng binibigay na pondo ng national government sa ARMM, eh hindi nararamdaman ang development ng pangkaraniwang tao, pangkaraniwang mamamayan. At naiwan sa taas, kung saan saan ginamit ang pera, pambili ng luxury items, ng armas, and etc. but not for the development.

So if we are going to have a better system, then let us make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Dahil, eto nga mag 70 plus bIillion na ang pinag uusapan, siguro naman may karapatan. Hindi lamang ng government kundi ang lahat ng buong Pilipinas na maka tiyak na ito ay gagamitin naman sa tama. Yung magkaroon tayo ng progreso sa Mindanao. Dahil kung (hindi natin gawin ‘yan, hindi natin makakamit ‘yangkapayapaan. and that is why it is important to me. And that is why I have tried, these are just some of the problems that I foresee. And that is why I am making a pledge to our people and to all that I will not allow this to be railroaded in my committee. I will not allow, na may magmamadali sa aking committee.

I will make sure that we have a good version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, that will succeed, that would be fair to our muslim brothers and sisters, that will actually bring peace. And that is why in our hearings, the OPPAP during negotiations, naka usap lang nila, MILF hindi nila kinausap ang MNLF, hindi nila kinausap ang sultanates, hindi kinausap ang mga Local Government Units, hindi kinausap ang negosyante, hindi kinausap ang kristyano. Sila lang OPPAP at MILF.

Kaya naman habang tumatagal, may mga issue na lumilitaw. Dahil sana, yung konsultasyon nila ay mas inclusive that they could be able to see and they could solve it, and it will not be left to us na sinisisi bilisan ninyo bilisan ninyo.

Yung isang hindi ko na maintindihan ay sinasabing “Ipasa na ninyo. Wag na ninyo palitan. As is, as original.” Kung kagaya ng sinasabi ng iba na ako’y anti-BBL na pinasa ko na ito, as is. Siguradong talo yan sa Supreme Court. That’s the best way to defeat it, to just let it go and let it lose in the Supreme Court.

But that’s not my function. My function as a legislator is to make sure that any bill that passes committee, that any bill that passes by Senate is constitutional, is legal, is enforceable. And that is why we are making sure that this is what we are doing.

Kaya’t kahit na sa maraming nararamdaman na bato ng batikos, kung ano-anong name-calling ang aking nakukuha, eh siguro dahil sa training ko as Vice-Governor ng.

So I just wanted to give you a report on what is happening in the BBL, to give you an idea. And I encourage everyone, makihalo kayo sa diskusyon, be part of the discussion. This affects you too.

And the Mindanao problem has always been a national issue. It’s not a Mindanao issue alone. And so, responsible government being formed that furthermore will be felt all around the country. So I would like to bring this up, specifically, in the area of local government that I believe that it is important that everyone around the country especially our Local Government Executives understand what is at stake, and how important it is that we get it right. Because you still, we have one more year here on our term as we look forward to 2016 and you still have to write another project, you will still have to pass ordinances and you must be aware on what is happening in the country.

And before you think, baka isipin niyo wala na kong ibang sabihin kundi BBL, I would like to discuss one subject. Very quickly baka maubusan na tayo ng blow-out ni Vice- Gov., order lang kayo ng order, blow-out niya ito, for his birthday. So wag kayong mag alala, si Vice ang bahala dito.

The one of the things that I have been trying to do as the committee chair on the local government, is to increase the IRA share of the local government.

Number one, the first way that we are talking about was to increase the tax base, to include all collections of government in the calculation of the IRA.

Sa ngayon, ang interpretasyon kasi ng BIR, ang lahat ng uri ng Internal Revenue Collections ay subject to IRA, so ganon ang hatian. Pero ang sinasabi dagdagan, isama na lahat ng VAT collections – yung customes, lahat, kailangan isama lahat, ‘yun ang ihati ng 60-40, na para mas malaki na, alam naman nating laging kulang ang pondo ng local government. Kayo ang mga nag susulat ng mga budget, that’s why I know these are some concern to you.

The second reason we are trying to do is that e-increase of share imbes na 40-60, gawin nang 50-50. Para naman, kung titignan ninyo ang ibang bansa, ang share ng national sa local baliktad, 40 ang national, 60 ang local. Kaya tayo lang ang ganon ang partihan.

So that is what we’re trying to do. Unfortunately, I have noticed the implementation by this administration to always favor national government over local government. Kaya’t ako’y nababahala at kung maaalala ninyo, nung nagkaron na kayo ng bid, yung mga myembro ng NFA ay sinabi nga na pakiusapan ay e-increase na ang IRA, gagawin nang 50%, so sarado kaagad. No, hindi niya gagawin. And this is the part that I see, the tendency, napupuna ko ito sa administrasyon na ito na para bang ayaw pagkatiwalaan ang mga local government. Kabit ko sinasabi ‘yon. Dahil kapag may pondo na available, na maaaring pumunta sa national government, kukunin kaagad nila. Hindi na bago yung kinukuha agad nila. Magbibigay sila ng savings ng Pebrero, ng Marso. Kukunin yung savings kaagad, dadalhin sa sa national government.

Meron tayong mga mandated na appropriations, lahat ng savings doon sa mandated appropriations, kukunin kaagad nila. And now, we get the information na may kulang, na IRA, meron pang kulang na tinatago pa, na hinahawakan pa ng national government.

So this is something that is not right. Dahil ang buhay ng ating ekonomiya ay hindi pang Maynila. Ang buhay ng ekonomiya, ay lahat ng probinsya na nagtatrabaho at nagbibigay ng buwis, nagbabayad ng buwis sa national government. Akala ba nila kung walang local government meron silang gagamitin ng pondo para sa kanilang mga ginagawa?

That is why I’m bringing this up again because it is a pattern, which I am very alarmed about. And I want you all to think about it and to see how we counter this. Dahil hindi tama itong nangyayari na ito.

We have a national government that takes as much as it can from the local government. And yet we are told that the inner share of the local government has not been fully paid. Furthermore, we are also told that the national government has under spent the 400 Billion pesos. It is 400 Billion pesos of appropriated funds not being used for the year 2014. What is going on? Ito ang reklamo ko.

So kailangan natin pag isipan mabuti ito at kailangan tignan natin kung ano ang maaaring gawin para sa susunod na ilang taon, ay matiyak natin na ang local government ay binibigyan ng priority, binibigyan ng atensyon at binibigyan ng importansya na it deserves. Because I believe right now, unfortunately, very few of our leaders, of national leadership have experiences in the local government, do not understand the role, the very important role that local government play in the country.

But let us work together and I assure that this development and you can stop too, and once again, we can look forward local government and show what local government can do, show the many things the local government can do better than the national government.

And in that way, play our part in the progress and growth of our economy of our country. That is what we are looking for, that is what I am thingking for an LGU.

So for that, maraming maraming salamat and once again, to Tugegarao City, those who do from the other parts of the country, and I’m sure that this will lit only a fire for preservation for your president but a very successful assembly. Thank you very much and good day.

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