BAGUIO CITY — Town mayors in the country are pushing for a five-year term, or even longer.
“Everybody at the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) agree with me that elections done every three years is very expensive and divisive”, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson said July 22, referring to the 1,488 town mayors around the country.
Elections every three years is too much to bear for the country’s budget and psychology, Singson said.
“Lagi na lang namumulitika ang mga mayors pag palagian ang election,” he claims.
Singson also argued against the 3-term limitation of mayors and governors and other local elected officials.
“Why punish the good mayors if they are excelling in their jobs as public servants? We should not have a term limit to excellent local officials performing their jobs,” Singson said.
The LMP chief said the election is a perfect measure to remove abusive officials. Unlike in the past, Singson claims the electorate now are learned.
“Uray adda kwartam, haan daka ibotos nu di daka kayat ken haan nasayaat panagserbisyom. (Even if you have money, people will not vote for you if they dislike you and disliked how you served them),” he said in the vernacular.
Even with the current term limits in place, Singson observed that “we have not prevented same family members taking hold on power in various local government units for so long.”
Singson, who has been into Ilocos Sur politics since Martial Law as a multi-term governor, second district congressman, now town mayor, and whose family members have also been elected into various government posts, contends that term limitations are useless like the anti-dynasty proposal.
According to Singson, the LMP has forwarded their stance for the DILG to consider and the legislature to take on.
Singson said the group has also declared its support for the shift to federalism as solution to the country’s backward economy.
“In a presidential type, power is so concentrated to the President,” he said.
He insisted that “the shift to federal type will not even benefit (Pres.) Duterte, so why vent opposition on him?”
“Actually, if we shift now to a federal system, lugi sya,” he explained in Filipino referring to the removal of presidential powers under the present system should the government shift now to federalism.
“Imagine, lahat ng appointments from fiscals up, nasa Presidente. Kahit yung mga di na nya kilala. Pati mga corrupt ma-aapoint kase di na nya makikilala at makikilatis,” Singson said.
“But when we shift to federal, government powers are democratized,” citing even the Senate would have regional representation that could serve the interests of all the regions in the country.
“That is why we’re are also supporting federalism versus presidential,” the official said, citing, “tignan mo Senado, magta-tatay, mag-iina. Pag sikat ka sa buong Pilipinas senador ka na. Pero yung kawawang mga probinsya wala representation man lang sa Senado.”
“We dream of industrialization of every province in the country with a federal system,” Singson said, claiming that amending the Constitution, not changing it (chacha), “is good for the future generation.”
“We will be asked by the next generation why we did nothing to improve the lives of the future generation if we will not do it.”
The LMP chief further claimed that lifting restrictions on foreign investments in the country “will complement the empowerment of regions especially as this will create more employment opportunities in the provinces and towns all over the country.” ●