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LU Sanggunian Secs Attend PLEASES 2018 National Assembly

By: JTF, GPC

The Philippine League of Secretaries to the Sangguian, Inc. (PLEASES) conducted its
Second National Assembly for 2018 at Venus Park Hotel in Baguio City from June 6-9, 2018. It
was participated by almost 1000 delegates from all over the Philippines. La Union delegates
include Sangguniang Secretaries headed by the President for La Union Chapter, Ms. Rosalie J.
Dout, SB Sec. of Bauang, La Union and Ms. Luisa A. Liwanag, also the President of PLEASES-
Region 1 Chapter and the SB Sec. of Bacnotan, La Union. Other Secretaries who attended
include Atty. Dearkyle Anicee A. Galvez-Taqued of Naguilian; Ms. Cherry Ann P. Ancheta of
Burgos; Ms. Hope Macusi of Sudipen; Mr. Freddie Asuncion of San Gabriel; Mr. Quintin M.
Nuesca of Luna; Mr. Jason Lictao of Bagulin; Ms. Jane T. Flores and Ms. Rhea Matilde A.
Ballesteros of the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. This year’s theme, “PLEASES,
Working Towards Holistic Development of Legislative Support Staff.”

Among the battery of credible resource speakers include Prof. Jimmy Fong, Professor of
UP-Baguio who gave a lengthy but practical discussion on the Basic Approaches and Techniques
in Research Methodology for Researched-Based Legislations. He emphasized that policies or
legislative measures that are based on research are more likely to be implemented and will be
observed by the target communities.

The topic on the role of LGUs in Transforming Philippines into a Federal Republic was
intelligently discussed by USEC. Gerard A. Salapantan, Presidential Legislative Assistant under
the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office. His presentation was focused on what would happen
to LGUs upon ratification of the proposed new constitution under a Federal Republic. He shared
that the Constitutional Commission is more likely to finish the draft by the end of June 2018 and
President Rodrigo R. Duterte would announce the same in his SONA 2018. He likewise
confirmed that elections for next year will push through where the proposed constitution will be
ratified through a plebiscite.

USEC Salapantan ably answered the questions of the participants particularly on the
income of LGUs, among others. He mentioned that 60% of the income that include all taxes
collected will be retained in the regional government and 40% will be remitted to the federal
government. There will be 17+1 federal regions including the Bangsamoro region and 2 senators
will be elected at large from each region. He calmed the predicaments of the provinces with
limited sources of income that maybe lumped in one region such as Region 8, that there will be
equalization fund which will be utilized in order to address concerns of poorer provinces.
He further mentioned that members of the Commission will be going to different
provinces beginning next week to explain and inform the public about the Federal Republic, the
Philippine design.

Atty. Benedicto M. Gonzales, Jr. of UP-Diliman likewise competently presented his topic
on Administrative Code Formulation In Preparation for the Federal System of Governance. He
mentioned that codification of local policies would avoid duplication of enacted policies, easier
referencing and research. Formulating an admin code in consideration to the federal set-up
would better equip the LGU in terms of policies upon the implementation of the federal republic.

Participants will have options for different tour packages for the next day that include
the strawberry farm, city tour (PMA) and the Ben Cab museum.

PLEASES assemblies are conducted to provide ample linkages among fellow secretaries,
capacitate them and promote their common interests and general welfare. This national
assembly was hosted by PLEASES, Inc.- CAR Chapter. The next national assembly will be hosted
in Tagum City in Davao del Norte on September 12-15, 2018.