MAYOR Luis “Chavit” Singson of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur took the helm of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) yesterday, running for president unopposed during the LMP National Directorate meeting at the New World Hotel 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.
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,” said Singson, who 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 experience in various capacities as Ilocos Sur governor, first district congressman, Vigan City councilor and Narvacan municipal councilor.
He served as president of the Philippine Councilors League from 2016 to 2019 and also served as deputy national security adviser for former 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 Atty. Ma. Theresa Constantino (Malungon, Sarangani), EVP for Operations, Atty. Jason John Joyce (Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental), EVP for Internal Affairs; and Dr. Denise Florence Bernos Bragas (Danglas, Abra), EVP for External Affairs.
Mayor Ma. Fe “Bubut” Brondial (Socorro, Mindoro), outgoing LMP president, will be the 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.