TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has called on national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas to strengthen its coordination to prepare for the Supreme Court ruling that will give more functions to local governments starting 2022.
DBM Eastern Visayas regional director Imelda Laceras said during a virtual orientation on Thursday(August 12) that all departments and agencies of the national government should continue reviewing their respective priorities, strategic plans, and functions to reflect the progressive operationalization of the full devolution of basic services and facilities.
Laceras said several national government agencies (NGAs) already have transition plans that include identifying devolved functions and services, service delivery standards, capacity development strategies for LGUs, a framework for monitoring and performance assessment of LGUs, and organizational effectiveness proposal.
“Some LGUs are now starting their transition plans. They have been asked to prepare their transition plans in close coordination with NGAs. Their plans will serve as guides on the monitoring and performance assessment of LGUs by the NGAs concerned, DBM, and DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Laceras told participants.
Executive Order No. 138 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations mandate all provinces, cities, municipalities, and villages to prepare their devolution transition plans in close coordination with the concerned NGAs to guide them towards the full assumption of devolved functions and services that come with more financial resources.
“This is working progress in the next three years. Let us not lose sight to continue with devolution despite birth pains during the first year of implementation. Through coordination, we can improve, refine and modify the transition,” Laceras added.
The Supreme Court Mandanas-Garcia ruling resulted from the petition made by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan governor Enrique Garcia Jr. before the Supreme Court on local government shares on internal revenue allotment (IRA).
According to the petitioners, LGU shares should include all national taxes.
The Supreme Court affirmed that local government units are entitled to a “just share” on all national taxes collected and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
At present, the local government’s IRA share comes from 40 percent of national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR.
With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation in 2022, it is projected that LGUs will have a 27.61 percent increase in the overall IRA shares.
With the increased budget share, the LGUs are expected to be responsible for the funding and delivery of the activities which have been devolved to them under Republic Act 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991, and other subsequent laws.
Among the functions assigned to local governments based on the Local Government Code are agriculture programs, local infrastructure, environmental services, revenue mobilization, health services, maintenance of peace and order, employment facilitation, transportation, tourism, and housing.