Brillantes urges more active role of colleges and universities in local governance
18 February 2016
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner Alex Brillantes, Jr. says that local colleges and universities have a big role to play in helping local governments solve local challenges. He said this at the Eighth Lecture of the CLRG Past Forward Lecture Series at the NCPAG Assembly Hall, UP DIliman, Quezon City to an audience of over 200 people made up of mostly students from colleges and universities in Metro Manila. He urged students, professors and researchers to mine the data—most of which have been made more accessible in recent years. He added that local higher education institutions can help in the “mind shift” that is needed in local governments in order to find less traditional solutions to the already “wicked” problems of society today.
Brillantes shared the findings of the 2015 rapid field appraisal (RFA) undertaken by the Philippine Society for Public Administration and UNDP Philippines. He added that schools could help LGUs by putting up governance hubs which would institutionalize periodic RFAs locally. Brillantes pointed out the achievements under 25 years of devolution, building the documentation of best practices and models under the tutelage of local colleges and universities will enhance evidence of good local governance—which will go beyond the anecdotes.
Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, reacting to Brillantes’ lecture highlighted the empowerment that devolution has given to LGUs which enabled them to introduce innovative programs like Madaluyong’s Project Teach for differently abled children and its unique public cemetery. He also mentioned challenges to devolution like the increasing number of barangays and the unpredictability of the Internal Revenue Allotment.
Another discussant, Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the Department of the Interior and Local Government remarked that the environment for decentralization has totally changed since the Local Government Code was enacted. “These days, the issue is not about the lack of funds but how funds are being used.” Panadero added. He also emphasized the need for local governments to cooperate with each other to address cross-boundary issues like disaster risk reduction.
The Past Forward Lecture Series aims to revisit the past as it relates to the present through the eyes of its Directors, former and present. Dr. Brillantes was director of the then LGC from 1989 to 1991 and of CLRG from 2001 to 2003.
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