Martin Romualdez seeks to empower local government units
The overarching theme of the senatorial candidacy of Leyte Rep. Martin G. Romualdez is “malasakit” or compassion. This was inspired by Leyte’s experience of coping with the devastation caused by Super-Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. When said typhoon struck Leyte and other parts of the Visayas Islands, everyone felt helpless and incapable of grasping the enormity of the destruction it caused. Eventually, help and salvation came—from near and far—and with it “malasakit” was revived.
Yolanda not only highlighted compassion and concern for the plight of the victims, but also the glaring neglect and disregard for their welfare by those tasked to help them as part of their official duties. Public officials, whether elected or appointed, have an obligation to serve the people, to think of them and their needs first and foremost, especially in a disaster or emergency situation.
Romualdez stresses, “The challenge of governance is to improve the lives of the ordinary Filipino and make economic growth and social progress benefit everyone, especially those who have less in life. ‘Malasakit’ should be ingrained among public officials so they can truly improve the lives of Filipinos, alleviate the plight of the poor, and contribute to moving our country forward.”
Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (PHILCONSA), added that allocating bigger budgets to LGUs would comply with the constitutional mandates of local autonomy, decentralization, devolution of agencies of government, and equitable share in the national resources. “Each municipality is a mini-government in itself,” he said in a recent gathering of vice-mayors from all over the country. “You have all the respective specific departments under your control. ‘Yung kulang na lang ay ‘yung pondo; ‘yung budget and resources.”
Romualdez vows to continue to work towards the decentralization of power from the capital to the local government units as part of his thrust to bring back “malasakit” to public service. “We all know that we can do more. We can do better. We can vastly improve the quality of services and the quality of life of our constituents,” he said. Besides, who knows what a municipality, city, or province needs to upgrade the living situation of its residents more than the local governments themselves? “I feel that any problem in any locale should be addressed by the locals,” stressed Romualdez. “So empower the local government units. Decentralize.”
“I believe I have more to give, and with my own brand of ‘malasakit,’ I will be able to enact high-impact compassionate laws, promote unity, and set aside politicking so we can squarely address problems with effective solutions to alleviate the suffering of Filipinos,” says Romualdez.
Genuine compassion for the plight of others fuels Martin Romualdez’s senatorial bid. He believes that if the government, the private sector, people’s organizations, NGOs, and religious organizations work together and with every Filipino doing his part, we can put in place effective and long-term solutions to poverty in this country, as well as inspire hope for a better future for all Filipinos.
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