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BBM to mayors: Explore international partnerships

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday urged the country's mayors to explore international partnerships and other strategies to improve the delivery of public services.

In his speech during the Philippine Mayors Forum in Quezon City, the President told the local government unit (LGU) leaders to innovate in tackling 21st-century issues.

«We are now in the 21st century. There are new challenges in both the local and national levels, issues that were not conceived of by the code's framework 30 years ago, that require us now to discover, to explore, to employ better ways of capacitating our localities,» he said.

«That way, we are able to achieve more. So, we must also explore international partnerships, such as that of your counterparts not only in the Philippines but in other countries, and that way we will learn the best practices in improving public service delivery,» he said.

The President said the forum reaffirms his administration's commitment to make the government «more transparent, more responsive, and more accessible» to the public.

He expressed hope that the discussions would result in the wider adoption of multi-level governance, the rise of smarter and more sustainable communities, and the emergence of stronger and more resilient local institutions.

While the forum, which coincides with the 32nd anniversary of the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991, provided the country with guidelines on devolution, efficiency, and self-sustainability, Marcos said that there are new challenges that should be addressed by both the local and national governments.

«I welcome this forum, which seeks to harness the power of innovation, digital governance, and resiliency-building to ensure that the government can better respond to the demands of the times and, when I speak of government, I speak of government at every level,» he said.

He challenged the mayors to make good use of the forum, saying it is a «very effective multiplier» in accelerating the capacity-building of LGUs.

«It is in [the] most opportune time for our national government agencies and LGUs to come together with the support of international partners to augment our strategies and approaches towards