To implement the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Executive Order No. 138 on June 1, 2021, which explicitly defines “full devolution” as the true devolution of functions to deliver the basic services from the national government to the local government units.
According to the said presidential issuance, the LGUs which comprise of the provinces, cities, municipalities and the barangays must already be fully performing the devolved functions, not beyond 2024 particularly on the basic services and facilities enumerated in section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991.
By allowing the LGUs to do their mandated tasks, the National government will now have more time to perform its “steering functions” so that it could respond to various needs and challenges particularly on the aspect of national development.
The functions and responsibilities the LGUs are expected to fully assume, or to devolve, are stipulated in Section 17 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and these include the basic services on agriculture, health, environment, transportation, and social services.
Also, there were also special laws enacted by the Congress that the LGUs are expected to perform in the past however were not implemented for budgetary and technical constraints.
The LGUs should not worry because the national government would not make them carry the birth pains of the transition.
While the LGUs are in transition, the Department of the Interior and Local Government will help the LGUs. There will be a strong collaboration between the two and the other national government agencies, as the LGUs need their technical expertise.
To ensure that by 2024, all LGUs must have already fully assumed their responsibilities based on Section 10, Executive Order No. 138 and Section 15, Rule V, Implementing Rules and Regulation, all provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays are mandated to formulate their own Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs).
The said three-year plan will serve as a roadmap or simply a guide for LGUs to ensure that the Devolution will be smooth and systematic, and their interconnected activities gear towards the assumptions of their devolved functions starting 2022.*