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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Mar Roxas Presidency of 2016 (Philippines)

Updated on April 9, 2015

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas of the Philippines

Current DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, is the Liberal Party's heir presumptive of President Benigno Aquino for the 2016 Presidential Election.
Current DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, is the Liberal Party's heir presumptive of President Benigno Aquino for the 2016 Presidential Election. | Source

Overview: The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)

One of the most powerful agencies in the Philippines is the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). The department was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 6975 that includes supervision and monitoring of the local government units (LGUs), urban poor, public safety, and Muslim affairs. The bureaus under it encompasses: local government development and supervision, barangay operations, project development services, and public affairs. It has six attached agencies that include: fire protection, the national police, jail management, and public safety, among others.

DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and DSWD Dinky Soliman while talking to family-evacuees during their monitoring visit at the grandstand at of the Joaquin Enriquez Sports Complex in Zamboanga City last Sept. 14, 2013.
DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and DSWD Dinky Soliman while talking to family-evacuees during their monitoring visit at the grandstand at of the Joaquin Enriquez Sports Complex in Zamboanga City last Sept. 14, 2013. | Source

Shoes that is hard to fill

When the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash in 2012, many clamored to replace this multi-awarded public servant (Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, 2000), since the department is seen as a jumping board for higher position in the government, like the Presidency of the Philippines in 2016.

Amongst those who made known his intent to be DILG Secretary, is the current Philippine Vice-President, Jejomar Binay. The stalwarts of the Liberal Party where President Benigno C. Aquino III and the late Secretary belong, do not see it as something plausible. They knew what Binay is capable of doing if given a powerful department to head like the DILG.

Binay is not a member of the Liberal Party – hence, he was out of contention as far as the group was concerned. President Aquino had to appoint somebody whom he trusts; and what could be a better choice than his best friend and buddy, then Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas. Everybody in the party was happy with the appointment and the public accepted him without hesitation as the new head of the DILG.

Former DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo (May 27, 1958 – August 18, 2012)

Then Mayor Jessie Robredo of Naga City as keynote speaker during PRRM's Conrado Institute for Sustainability's 55th anniversary celebration.
Then Mayor Jessie Robredo of Naga City as keynote speaker during PRRM's Conrado Institute for Sustainability's 55th anniversary celebration. | Source

Current DILG Secretary Mar Roxas: Springboard for the Presidency of 2016?

When Sec. Mar Roxas faced the media after his appointment, he looked disheveled and ill-fitted for the job; but, nevertheless accepted the position for political expediency, as some have guessed. Roxas was more into investment banking, having graduated from Wharton in the United States and dabbled into the fund mobilization of small to medium scale enterprises in the U.S., before coming back to the Philippines to make a run for Congress.

Roxas became a member of the House Representative of the 1St District of Capiz before being appointed as Trade Secretary by the former Philippine President, Joseph Estrada. He again joined the cabinet of President Gloria Arroyo in the same capacity before he made a run for the Senate in 2004. He garnered a vote of 19 million, the highest number of vote gotten by a national candidate in any Philippine election, that year.

Disaster Relief Operation by the DSWD and the DILG

Poll on Secretary Mar Roxas

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Mar Roxas was a leading contender for the 2010 Presidential election, but gave way to fellow Senator Benigno Aquino III when he was catapulted into the Presidency upon the death of his mother, democracy icon, Cory Aquino. He skidded down to Vice-Presidential (VP) candidate of Aquino, in an election where the party focus was more on making the party’s presidential bet win. Everybody expected Roxas to win hands-down, and was a shoo-in for the VP position. The campaign focused more on Aquino, who was getting a wallop from strong candidates, like former President Joseph Estrada and then Senator Manuel Villar.

The result was a win for Aquino with 15 Million votes as against his nearest rival, Joseph Estrada with 9 million votes. Binay defeated Roxas by 700,000+ votes, the 2ndnarrowest margin in Philippine election history. Though Mar Roxas has filed an election protest, his present post as DILG Secretary, kept his hands full of problems affecting LGUs, calamities, and police matters.

Site Visit of Conflict Area at Zamboanga City

President Benigno Aquino III visits the thousands of evacuees in conflict areas in Zamboanga City with DILG Sec. Roxas and DSWD Sec. Soliman.
President Benigno Aquino III visits the thousands of evacuees in conflict areas in Zamboanga City with DILG Sec. Roxas and DSWD Sec. Soliman. | Source

Problems Faced by the DILG

Local Government Units
Bureau of Jail and Penology
Natl Police/Fire Protection
Check and Balance of Funds
Claims of special priviledge to some inmates
Wanton killings in the streets
Monitoring of Services
Humane treatment of prisoners
Better police presence in the community
Faster feedback during calamities
Increase budget for jail management
Immediate response when there is fire
These are some of the problems that confront the DILG. The problems are numerous and we can only read the papers and see the many issues that face the DILG. It is a backbreaking work but needs to be done or else chaos erupts.

Important Facts about the Dept. of the Interior (DILG)

  • It is one among the first government department created by the revolutionary government or the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897;
  • Emilio Aguinaldo was elected as first president of the revolutionary government and Andres Bonifacio, leader of the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan, was elected as the Director of the Interior. An objection to his election led to the walk-out of the entire Magdiwang faction;
  • The Biak na Bato Convention of November 1, 1897 defined the powers and functions of the department;
  • The Interior Department was among the first departments created under the American regime of 1901;
  • The reorganized department, under Republic Act 6975 of December 13, 1990, expanded the functions of the department to include the National Police Commission, and all bureaus and operating units under the Department of Local Government.

Problems Faced by the Department

The DILG is faced with many problems. The rainy season that starts in June, would need skillful handling in the department to lessen the number of deaths when typhoons hit the country. The evacuation sites should be set up and hordes of people evacuated when an impending typhoon is seen to strike. When the rains become unabated, it could lead to towns and barrios being submerged in water. There should be proper monitoring of the DILG group that there is enough pumped boats to help save residents who may be stuck on the rooftops of their homes, when rampaging waters hit their areas.

Residents who live near collapsing boulders should be evacuated when there is an impending heavy rainfall or a typhoon as these could collapse and destroy everything along its path. LGU’s should be given instructions, that the residents along the bay areas or bodies of water, should be evacuated at once; and for them to sound off a tsunami alert, to stave off deaths when the waters begin to rise at precarious levels.

Among the other problems faced by the DILG Secretary are police matters that can destroy the complacency of the nation. The reckless shooting of bystanders in Quezon City, the wanton shootings of journalists, the plight of farmers in the countryside, and the monitoring of internal control to ensure that LGU funds are properly used and within the bounds of the law, are just some of the few problems that the department faces. .

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in conference with the National Police.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in conference with the National Police. | Source

The Bottomline

If DILG Secretary Mar Roxas plays his cards well, he can be a force to reckon with in the next Presidential election of 2016. He should be forthright in his actions when there are disasters, and avoid embarrassing situations like his non-payment of golf fees in one upscale golf club in Metro Manila, that was all in the news recently. As a politician, he should look like somebody who can empathize with the people that he wants to serve and not act or look high and mighty, when there is no need for it.

He should look friendly, accommodating, sincere, as well as follow the Liberal Party’s battle cry of “Daang Matuwid” (the straight path). Doing what is politically right, might just be his next springboard towards the Presidency of 2016.

Update on the Philippine Political Front, Sept 30, 2014

The DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, is the presumptive Liberal Party presidential candidate for 2016. The Pulse Asia survey has consistently shown him at the far end of front liner, Vice President Jejomar Binay.

However, the recent survey by Pulse Asia, showed an emerging trend where Binay's numbers went down to 31 percent, a decline of 10 percent from 41 percent. On the other hand, Roxas' increased to 13 percent, almost double of the 7 percent rate that he got from a previous survey by Pulse Asia..

President Noynoy Aquino has not yet identified the Liberal Party's candidate, but party mates are confident that given the President's blessings, DILG Secretary Roxas' numbers will gallop up to overtake Binay's lead in the polls.

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    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
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      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      Robredo would have been the best President that we would ever have. It is such a sad thing that his life was nipped in the bud. Thanks for dropping by, kabayan!

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      Between Binay and Roxas, I prefer the latter. But I wish for an honest man to rule our country. I wish that our country will have non-corrupt officials that would improve the lives of poor Filipino people, someone like the late Mr. Robredo.

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
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      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      Mar Roxas will win in the Visayan-speaking regions as he is a Visayan. I really have no qualms of seeing him elected as President of the Republic. He is ready for the job as top honcho of the government. I just hope he gets to pull up his numbers so he can overtake Binay on the lead.

      For teenager..masbate city

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
      Author

      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      I read in the papers today that he is still the Liberal Party's shoo-in Presidential candidate for the 2016 election. I doubt though if he can turn around the numbers and overtake Binay out of the lead. Other choices would be Duterte, Cayetano, and Lacson. There might still be a dark horse somewhere. :)

      For grand old lady

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      teenager..masbate city 3 years ago

      he is doing a great job as a dilg secretary..that's why I am the one ,who putting him in presidency in 2016..hoping to continue doing a great job..continue showing a good governance servers..

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      This very clearly explains how important the DILG is and how it can launch a presidency. However, I'm not sure if Mar would make a good president. I hope the Liberal Party comes up with other winnable alternatives.

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
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      Consolacion Miravite 3 years ago from Philippines

      g2narat, my friend I hope to see you post in this site too. Looking forward to see you here. :)

      Mar Roxas is getting a beating in the DILG. He is seen as somebody who does not move too fast and merely dilly-dallies on important issues that need to be attended to immediately. This lackluster performance is going to costs him politically. He should be seen as somebody strong enough to battle with the strong winds of fortune and unafraid to see his foot on his mouth. I feel that he lacks the spunk and the ardor to go against the tide of public opinion, if he is right. This position will not put him in Malacanang in 2016. My one cent......:)

      :)

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image
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      Consolacion Miravite 3 years ago from Philippines

      If there is one government agency that is hard to head, that would be the DILG. You can do a good job, but the "politicos" would make mince meat out of you. Remember the late Jess Robredo? Thanks jpcmc for the comment! :)

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      g2narat 3 years ago

      DILG secretary is admittedly a tough position. That being said, I am not happy with how Mar Roxas is handling it. Though he is not totally incompetent, he is not the best man for the job in my opinion.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It is diffiuclt to head the DILG. Expertise in various fields is needed. Moreover, getting pass politics and bureaucracy is a daily challenge.