TACLOBAN CITY – Local government units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas (Region 8) are expected to come up with their devolution transition plans by November, in preparation for assuming new responsibilities next year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) regional office here said.
DBM Eastern Visayas regional director Imelda Laceras said on Friday that key regional line agencies have completed the regional workshops for local governments last month while the provincial workshops are ongoing.
“Most likely, by October to November, local governments will be able to finish their devolution transition plans,” Laceras said in a phone interview.
Preparation of transition plans is in close coordination with national government agencies (NGAs). The plans will serve as guides on the monitoring and performance assessment of local governments by the agencies concerned, according to the official.
“The plan is always a work in progress and local government units can still modify before approval of their plan or even after approval,” Laceras added.
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.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued the directive to boost the local government’s preparation for more responsibilities with the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling in 2022.
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. (PNA)