On our own initiative, we have undertaken and continue to work on key projects:
Improving Real Property Tax Administration (RPTA) through Comprehensive Development Planning
In September 2005 we worked on Development Beyond Political Boundaries in 3 municipalities of Balingoan, Medina and Talisayan of the province of Misamis Oriental in Region X. By the start of 2006, the European Union office in the Philippines funded this project focused on the main objective that is to promote inter local cooperation. This is one of the main advocacies of the foundation that promotes close cooperation andcollaboration between LGUs. By 2007, the funding support from EU ended but on the foundation’s own initiative, the project continued expanding to 6 then 9 and now 16 municipalities in the province. The objective is to cover the whole province and serve as a model for other LGUs.
In promoting interlocal cooperation, the municipalities were clustered into groups of 3 to 4. Each cluster was then made to determine and agree to undertake 2 common projects along with the GIS based RPTA project. The objective is to develop the capacity of individual LGUs to work with a common initiative thereby emphasizing the advantage of pooling resources and initiatives together. Aside from having them work together, considering especially that the fundamental output of GIS are maps of parcels of lands, boundary issues may also be resolved in the process.
We continuously review and assess our initiatives that in 2008, we expanded the use of GIS technology and have since revised it to include and promote comprehensive planning. This comprehensive planning ensures that all necessary information for planning that includes revenue generation and program and policy direction are now available to key departments in the province. This means that there is an incentive for policy makers to undertake measures based on facts that the impact may likewise be ascertained.
Addressing Unintended Effects of Autonomy and Advocating Amalgamation in the Process Preventing Fragmentation
Part of our work is to capacitate local officials especially local policy makers. Various municipalities in the province of Benguet along with Baguio City asked the foundation to conduct a Local Legislative Agenda Setting Seminar in 2007 intended for local legislators. With our strong recommendation, the mayors and the vice mayors also joined said 2 day activity that included workshops to determine common initiatives.
The whole process resulted to the articulation of the LGUs’ misgivings with the others especially with the enactment of an ordinance that prevented public utility vehicles from entry. Considering the continuous increase in economic activity in Baguio City for example,neighboring LGUs will definitely benefit in terms of opportunities but at the same time suffer from the increase in demand for resources, especially public space.
There is certainly a need then to encourage functional cooperation among the LGUs. This intervention has led to the revival of the BLIST initiative. The weakness of the original initiative is the failure to establish local ownership. The challenges of urbanization are clear that stakeholders should find a way to work together. This is easier said than done on the other hand. The often conflicting interests or even priorities of stakeholders have to be integrated and agreed, in the effect owned by stakeholders. The ultimate objective is an alternative local authority, a metropolitan maybe; but the initiative may start with common programs and initiatives. This way, LGUs may find good reason not to act as if it is entirely separate from its neighbors. technology and have since revised it to include and promote comprehensive planning. This comprehensive planning ensures that all necessary information for planning that includes revenue generation and program and policy direction are now available to key departments in the province. This means that there is an incentive for policy makers to undertake measures based on facts that the impact may likewise be ascertained.