The study on the devolution of some roles of the executive branch to local governments is expected to be out in two months, a Department of Budget and Management (DBM) official said over the weekend.
“Last week, the President directed the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) to further study the implementation of this full devolution taking into consideration the overall capacities of the local government units (LGUs) and to take a look at the particular functions and services that should be retained by the national government,” DBM Director John Aries Macaspac said in a news forum in Quezon City.
“So, these are basically those that cannot really be implemented by the local government units taking into consideration their technical and financial capacity and then we will also identify those that could already be implemented by the local governments,” Macaspac added.
After the completion of the study, DBM will propose the necessary policy recommendations for the Chief Executive “to issue and to serve as guidance of the local governments and the national government agencies in the implementation of the full devolution effort.”
The necessary policy guidelines will also be issued or probably an amendment to Executive Order (EO) 138, Macaspac said, adding that the DBM together with its partner agencies, particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), will also issue the corresponding implementing guidelines for the purpose.
“And the local government units, as well as the national government agencies concerned will be duly informed, capacitated and, well, they will be informed of these policy directives for the full, efficient and effective implementation of this full devolution effort of the government,” he said.
Macaspac pointed out that the full devolution effort of the government is being implemented to cushion or mitigate the fiscal impact of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case.
EO 138, s. 2021, was issued to support the efficient implementation of the SC ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case and strengthen the autonomy and empowerment of LGUs.
It directs full devolution of certain functions of the Executive branch to the LGUs and also provides for the creation of a Committee on Devolution to monitor the implementation of the EO.
Basis of devolution
The SC ruled in 2018 that the just share of LGUs from the national taxes is not limited to “national internal revenue taxes” collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other tax collecting agencies.
Under the Mandanas ruling, the national government is mandated to expand the share of LGUs in tax collection.
On the other hand, LGUs are required to handle the responsibility of operating social services like agriculture, connectivity and health within their jurisdictions.