Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año expresses his gratitude to the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) for the confirmation of his appointment as DILG Chief on Wednesday.
“I am humbled and grateful for getting the nod of the CA as DILG Secretary. I commit myself to improve governance in local government units (LGUs) and to promote public safety across the country," he says.
“Ang pagkumpirma po sa akin ng CA ay hudyat na lalo ko pa pong pagbutihin ang pamumuno sa Kagawaran at tiyaking ang mga programa ng DILG ay nararamdaman at napapakinabangan ng mamamayan," he adds.
Año says he vows for a strict and fair leadership of the Department in exercising general supervision over LGUs and in safeguarding public order and safety.
The DILG Chief also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust and confidence in leading the Department at the forefront of the unrelenting campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, and terrorism as well as advocating for a federal system of government. The DILG is also part of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program and is continuing to oversee the recovery of Boracay Island together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Tourism.
“Mabibigat na mga trabaho ang inatas ng Pangulo at ng taumbayan sa Departamento pero kaya po natin itong gawin through our unified commitment for change, sa pamamagitan ng tapang at malasakit sa bayan," says Año, a former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He also thanked the DILG senior officials, heads of the attached agencies namely the National Police Commission (Napolcom), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC), and Local Government Academy (LGA) and the whole of the DILG organization down to its field offices "for doing their duties ng matino, mahusay at maaasahan and contributing to the realization of the Departments goals for the people."
Año also assures to work and collaborate with the heads of Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), National Youth Commission (NYC), and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) that are now among the DILGs attached agencies in accordance with Executive Order No. 67, series of 2018.
He shares that the DILG's strategy is guided by its main programs of building peaceful, orderly and safe communities; building climate and disaster resilient communities; creating vibrant and productive local economies; creating high performing and corrupt-free LGUs; ensuring effective, responsive and resilient social protection services and local infrastructure facilities; and strengthening internal capacity.
Priorities for the people
"I call on the entire DILG to work with me on the top priorities this year. We shall sustain the momentum on our public order and safety advocacies. Our anti-illegal drugs and anti-criminality campaigns will not only be intensified, but will be more focused and methodical. We also need to enhance our awareness and readiness in addressing the emerging threat of violent extremism. We shall double our efforts in ending the Communist insurgency in our country," he says.
He also rallied the DILG family to prepare LGUs for disasters and calamities. "We should step up our advocacy and awareness drive and make sure local chief executives are on top of the preparations," he says.
"We will push forward the campaign for the shift to federalism. Let us gather all national government agencies and reach out to as many sectors possible and make them part of creating a people-focused, reform-oriented federal constitution," he emphasizes.
"Likewise, we shall safeguard the successful conduct of elections and step up our advocacy against corrupt and crime or illegal drug-linked candidates in the mid-term polls," he underscores.
Just like in the 2018 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, Año said the DILG is helping in enlightening the people on which candidates, both at the national and local levels, are matino, mahusay at maaasahan, and therefore worthy of their votes on the May 13 midterm elections.
"Most importantly, we will deepen the drive for good local governance. We must speed up project implementation and continuously professionalize our DILG officials and personnel," he points out.