The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now preparing the local government units (LGUs) for the full devolution of basic services and facilities with the kick-off of a series of orientations and workshops.
This is in preparation for the implementation of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petitions next year which is also in accordance with the Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs) under Executive Order (EO) No. 138.
In Mandanas et al. v. Executive Secretary et al. case, the Hight Court held that all collections of national taxes, except those accruing to special purpose funds and special allotments for the utilization and development of the national wealth, should be included in the computation of the base of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs.
“We will coach and guide LGUs every step of the way to ensure that they are ready for full devolution starting with their preparation of DTPs. This is indeed a collaborative effort between the national government agencies (NGAs) and LGUs towards attaining our goal of full devolution,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Año explained that “the DTP shall serve as LGUs’ roadmap to ensure strategic, systematic, and coherent actions towards their full assumption of devolved functions and services starting 2022. It shall serve as their handy reference in carrying out organizational strengthening efforts and upgrading of institutional capacities in the next three years.’’
“The LGUs’ respective DTPs shall also serve as guide in the monitoring and performance assessment of the LGUs by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), DILG, and other NGAs concerned,” Año said.
He added that the DILG and DBM will jointly issue LGU DTP Guidelines to provide the necessary guidance to our LGUs in the preparation of their respective DTPs.
“As they prepare their DTPs, LGUs are encouraged to coordinate and collaborate with NGAs to ensure complementarity of devolution efforts between the national and local governments,” he added.
Signed by President Duterte in June this year, EO 138 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) mandate all provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays to prepare their DTPs in close coordination with the NGAs concerned to guide them towards the full assumption of devolved functions and services that come with more financial resources.
This week, Año said that the regional orientations for DILG Provincial Devolution Core Teams (DCTs), Provincial Devolution Transition Committees (DTCs), City and Municipal DTCs, among others, have started to discuss the prescribed components, processes, and mechanisms for the preparation of LGU DTPs.
“After the regional activities, the DILG will conduct Provincial, City and Municipal, and Barangay DTP Workshops to further assist LGUs in preparing their respective DTPs,” he said.
LGU DTP Toolkit
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya disclosed that the DILG field offices will be equipped with an “LGU DTP Toolkit” to assist the LGUs’ implementation of the SC ruling on the Mandanas and Garcia petitions as well as EO 138.
“Our field officers will have three primary tools in capacitating LGUs in the making of DTPs namely: the Communications Strategy for the Mandanas SC Ruling and EO 138; the LGU DTP Guidelines; and the Capacity Development Agenda for DTPs,” said Malaya.
Under the IRR of EO 138, provinces, cities, and municipalities are also directed to formulate their respective Capacity Development Agenda (CDA) based on the assessment framework and guidelines to be issued by the DILG-Local Government Academy.
The CDA shall be guided by, among others, the strategy to enable the LGUs to effectively absorb, maintain, and sustain the responsibilities under a fully devolved setup.
Malaya noted that the DILG, and the other NGAs concerned, despite the pandemic “have already been hard at work in prepping LGUs for the extensive communication and advocacy campaign on the Mandanas SC ruling for the second semester of 2021.’’ (Chito A. Chavez)