Binay: Progress starts from local gov’ts

By Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News First Posted 19:19:00 08/26/2009

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay vowed to advocate for decentralization and empowering local government units (LGU) if elected president.

Binay said basic services are best delivered to the people if LGUs are well-funded and allowed to attend to these needs.

“I believe that if the barangay is progressive, the town or city will also be progressive. If the towns or cities are progressive, the provinces will also be progressive. And if the provinces are progressive, then the country will also be progressive,” he said.

Binay was at the CEBU DAILY NEWS office yesterday to talk with reporters and editors for the paper’s Election Roundtable 2010.

The outgoing Makati mayor said his plan would depend on political developments within the opposition group.

If he would become an hindrance in unifying the opposition, he added, he would rather run for vice president.

He did not discount the possibility of running for vice president as an independent candidate.

Binay said he would not run for senator because his expertise is in the executive.

“Legisaltion is not my line. There is very slim chance that I would run for senator and I will end up as chairman on the committee on silence,” he said in jest.

Binay said he was more experienced in handling executive functions being Makati mayor since 1986.

He was the first appointed mayor after the Edsa People Power revolution. His appointment as Makati mayor came on Feb. 28, 1986.

Binay said that among the presidential aspirants, he is the most senior in terms of experience in handling the executive functions.

His experience as chief executive of Makati City, the country’s financial district, is enough to make him qualify for the country’s presidency.

Under his administration, he managed to increase his city’s revenues from only P240 million in 1986 to P10.6 billion in 2008.

The function of a mayor, governor and even the president of the country is the same. It only varies in scale, he said.

“If I will be privileged and elected president I will not be there in Malacañang as if I’m an OJT (on the job trainee),” he said.

He said he talked to his constituents in Makati because to be able to make good decision, the chief executive should have good information.

Binay said the LGUs should be decentralized and empowered and run like a private corporation so the delivery of basic service would be made more efficient.

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