Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Chavit Singsong (MB FILE PHOTO)
Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, was elected unopposed as new president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) on Wednesday during the LMP National Directorate meeting held in Makati.
It marked the first time in league history that a candidate for president faced no challenger from the 81 provincial chapter presidents representing the country’s more than 1,400 municipal mayors.
After acknowledging “this rare show of unity by our municipal mayors,” Singson offered his vision to make the municipal LGUs “innovative and enterprising.”
He said the LGUs “cannot be too dependent” on their internal revenue allotments (IRA) for funds to finance their development projects.
To do this, Singson said town executives “have to learn how to harness the corporate powers and abilities of our LGUs in the delivery of basic services.”
The “overwhelming trust and confidence of his fellow mayors in me,” Singson said, “will all the more spur me to deliver the best services to all our municipalities all over the country.”
Singson also released a list of his priority projects that he wants to accomplish during his three-year term.
Among them is state-of-the-art connectivity linking all municipalities through public wi-fi, which he said his company would offer for free.
“This way, even far flung towns will have direct connection with national government agencies and easy access to information and data from all over the world,” Singson said.
He owns one of the biggest telco companies in the country in partnership with TierOne Communications.
Singson ascends to the LMP presidency as a seasoned political leader with more than 30 years of experience in various capacities as Ilocos Sur governor, first district congressman, Vigan City councilor and Narvacan municipal councilor.
He was President of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) from 2016 to 2019 and also served as Deputy National Security Adviser for then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2008.
Along with Vigan City Mayor Eva Marie Singson-Medina, Singson was instrumental in making Vigan City one of the “New 7 Wonder Cities” of the world.
He also authored Republic Act No. 7171, which extends special support to the farmers of Virginia tobacco-producing provinces, providing billions of pesos in excise tax revenues to the beneficiary provinces.
Also elected unopposed to various LMP positions upon Singson’s recommendation were the following mayors: lawyer Ma. Theresa Constantino (Malungon, Sarangani), EVP for Operations; lawyer Jason John Joyce (Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental), EVP for Internal Affairs; Dr. Denise Florence Bernos Bragas (Danglas, Abra), EVP for External Affairs; Edgar Flores (Minalin, Pampanga), Luzon Cluster president; lawyer. Ma. Esperanza Christina Frasco (Liloan, Cebu), Visayas Cluster president; Rey Buhisan (Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental) Mindanao Cluster president; Franklin Lim (Santiago, Agusan del Norte), national treasurer; Mary Jean Te (Libertad, Antique), national auditor; Allan Contado (Balangkayan, Eastern Samar), business manager; Carla Lopez-Pichay (Cantilan, Surigao del Sur), PRO; lawyer Antonio Bendita (Surallah, South Cotabato), general legal counsel; Valentino Patron (San Jose, Batangas), EVP for Special Concerns; lawyer Cynthia Falcotelo-Fortes (Barcelona, Sorsogon), secretary general; Jose Enrique Miraflores (Ibajay, Aklan), deputy secretary general; Arnold Bautista (Tumauini, Isabela), Lorna Velasco (Torrijos, Marinduque),Vincent Pagurayan (Sto. Nino, Cagayan), Ramon Preza (Tiaong, Quezon), Edgardo Ramos (Pila, Laguna), Rosario Mediatrix Fernandez (San Enrique, Iloilo), Fermin Mabulo (San Fernando, Camarines Sur), Anamel Oligario (Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay), Emmanuel Galila (Nueva Valencia, Guimaras), Mohammad Mustafa Burahan (Hadji Panglima Tahil, Sulu), Leodegario Labao (Mabusao, Capiz), presidential advisers; Leopoldo Bataoil (Lingayen, Pangasinan), presidential spokesperson; lawyer Dimnatang Pansar (Butig, Lanao Del Sur), asst. legal counsel; Jose Dizon (Guimba, Nueva Ecija), asst. national treasurer; Ambrosio Cruz Jr. (Guiguinto, Bulacan), asst. national auditor; Dean Villa (Larena, Siquijor), asst. business manager; and Germy Goulart (Caoayan, Ilocos Sur), special assistant to the president.
Mayor Ma. Fe “Bubut” Brondial (Socorro, Mindoro), out-going LMP President will assume as LMP chairman.
Upon taking his oath, Singson vowed to support President Duterte’s initiatives for inclusive growth and rural development, local governance reforms, lasting peace in Mindanao and the fight against corruption, crimes and illegal drugs.
He said the LMP “will work as one team to achieve our goals” and promised to bring the government closer to Filipinos.