THE nephew of Albay representative and House Ways and Means Committee chair, Rep. Joey Salceda, is seen as having a “clear edge” over his rival as the country’s 17,000-strong ‘Philippines Councilors’ League’ (PCL) opens its 3-day national congress today at the Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
Jesciel Richard Salceda, a 3-term councilor from Polangui, Albay, who also sits at the provincial board and the PCL leader in the entire Bicol region, is to contest the chairmanship of the PCL with Davao City councilor, Danny Dayanghirang, the incumbent PCL chair.
A graduate of Yale University, Salceda has been cited by former PCL president Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson and Sen. Manny ‘Pambansang Kamao’ Paquiao, for his leadership qualities and vision for the organization even as Dayanghirang is being hounded by controversy as regards the “fast dissipation” of the PCL fund.
In a letter to the delegates, Singson said the time has come to “end the monopoly of leadership” at the PCL being exercised by Dayanghirang, who was already the group’s chair when Singson became its president in 2016 when he got elected as councilor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur.
On stepping down from his post, Singson left behind more than P113 million in the coffers of the PCL. However, the amount has shrunk to just P19 million as of June 2019, based on the PCL’s financial report.
“It is time to hand over the League to leaders who can take PCL to the next level of public service above self,” Singson added, as he also endorsed the candidacy for PCL auditor of Quezon City councilor Victor ‘Jun’ Ferrer.
Also running on Salceda’s slate are Davao City councilor Tata Sala and Tarlac councilor Kristine Legaspi, as PCL national liaison.
Singson said that aside from having a “vision” for the PCL, Salceda can also restore its financial health.
For his part, boxing legend Paquiao said he is asking a “favor” from the Congress delegates to back Salceda’s candidacy.
“I would like to ask a favor from you (PCL) to support my candidate (Salceda) as national chairman of PCL,” Pacquiao told the delegates.
“He is the right person to help us improve our government in terms of public service,” the lawmaker stressed, adding:
“(Salceda) is a public servant who believes in collective leadership and is passionate in empowering local legislators.”
If elected, Salceda said he would prioritize projects and advocacies that would make the PCL relevant in the country’s body politic while also ensuring the financial health of the organization.
Salceda said he would support Charter change to extend the terms of elected officials from 3 years to 5, noting that the present 3 year-term is not enough for a public official to deliver on their campaign promises.
More importantly, Salceda said he would work for the enactment into law of the, ‘Mandanas Ruling’ of the Supreme Court issued in 2018.
The ruling, he said, recognizes that local government units (LGUs) should have their “just share” in all taxes collected by the national government equivalent to 40 percent.
If enacted into law, Salceda said the bigger share of the LGUs in the ‘Internal Revenue Allotment’ (IRA) Fund would help hasten the development of the country’s far-flung communities and municipalities.