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Jan 29, 2021

Empowering Village Councils for Better Rural Development

Oscar Requeña

Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Local Government and Labour, Oscar Requeña, Minister of State Ramiro Ramirez and C.E.O. Valentino Shal are on a tour of the nine towns cities ahead of the upcoming March third municipal elections. They are getting a firsthand view of various departments’ needs – from human resources issues to lack of transportation.  Requeña is also looking at finances and accountability at the various local governments, including village councils. Millions of dollars have been invested in reverse osmosis water systems in several villages, but no support was provided, and there have been challenges. Minister Oscar Requeña says that he will soon propose amendments to the legislation to empower village councils to address water boards issues and allow for better rural development.


Oscar Requeña, Minister of Labour and Local Government

“We are going to create more autonomy and we are going to provide that autonomy to the village councils. So very soon, I am going to be taking legislation to the House to make the necessary amendments to empower our village councils. Not only will they have responsibility for water boards, but we are also looking at revenue measures that we are going to take. For example, where communities have sandpits and mines, the issue of trade licences because we want to increase, we want to broaden the revenue base for our communities and really that is what empower means to our communities. We are meeting with water board members, we are meeting with village council chairmen and chairladies and village council members because we want to have a firsthand knowledge of what is the situation on the ground. I want to single out the Ministry of Rural Development as it relates to water boards. What we are finding is that on the ground, we have many water boards that have not provided proper accountability to the Ministry of Rural Development. And we have seen where there has been a lack of structures and support from the ministry in ensuring that water boards carry out their duties in a very prudent manner.”

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