Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, Full Devolution of the LGUs (Part 3 of 3)

Based on Section 5 of the Executive Order No. 138 and Section 12 of its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR), all National Government Agencies (NGAs), departments and instrumentalities under it are mandated to formulate their respective Devolution Transition Plans.

Specified in the concerned NGA DTP are the services to be fully devolved to the Local Government Units according to provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Each department is only allowed to have one DTP, where all the agencies and Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) under its supervision will be included on the said plan. 

The formulation of the NGA DTP shall be spearheaded by the highest official of the agency, the second ranking official to ensure the preparation of the said plan. But the agencies under the concerned department are not prohibited to establish their respective Devolution Transition Committee to expedite their process. 

The content of National Government Agencies Devolution Transition Plans are as follows: identified devolved functions and services and corresponding strategies to transfer those devolved functions to the LGUs; definition of the standards in the delivery of devolved services; capacity development strategy for LGUs and NGAs; framework in monitoring and assessing the performance of the LGUs; and organizational effectiveness proposal to strengthen the department/agency and GOCCs in assuming the steering functions.

Based on Section 9 of Executive Order No. 138, the department through the Local Government Academy (LGA) will provide capacity development (capDev) intervention to enhance the capacity of Local Government Units and will establish a mechanism to ensure efficient resource utilization.

Moreover, the LGA is mandated to harmonize all capDev interventions of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Finance, and other government agencies, Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) and other third-party service providers for the LGUs.

The capDev that will be provided to LGUs by DILG, DBM and Bureau of Local Government Finance of the DOF will focus on public financial management processes namely: local development planning; investment programming and resource mobilization and budgeting.

This is to ensure that smooth allocation of revenue will be utilized in the delivery of services and facilities mandated under the Local Government Code of 1991.

Furthermore, the DILG will employ other strategies to strengthen the capability, expedite the institutionalization of performance standards and establish performance incentive mechanisms under the Seal of Good Local Governance to maintain the competence in terms of local governance. 

Under the Section of Executive Order No. 138 and Section 4, Rule XIII of its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Growth Equity Fund will be created to fill the gaps and address the issue of marginalization, the uneven local development, high poverty incidence and disparity in the net income of the local government units.

The GEF will be open to all LGUs which are financially incapable to allocate necessary funds for the devolved services and facilities and are technically weak in assuming the devolved services.  The GEF will be added to their National Tax Allotment.

Because of this, there will be funds for GEF to be included by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the National Expenditure Program (NEP). Under the Special Provision No. 3 of the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) –GEF, a ten billion fund will be used as financial assistance to those which will be classified as “poor, disadvantaged and lagging” LGUs for the implementation of their local projects and gradual growth and smooth assumption of the devolved functions and service to the LGUs.

The Development Budget Coordinating Committee, based on Section 41 of the IRR of Executive Order No. 138, there will be guidelines in transferring funds to the LGUs to ensure the just, performance-based, and time-bound allocation and distribution of funds to the LGUs.

The implementation of GEF will be monitored by the Inter-Agency Steering Committee composed of DBM, DILG, Department of Finance, and National Economic Development Authority.

However, the GEF will only be allocated to the poor, disadvantaged and lagging LGUs with high poverty incidence and low financial capacity. This will only be exclusively allocated to the provincial, and municipal LGUs. Based on the guidelines, the LGUs will only be entitled to GEF based on the Poverty Incidence and Per capita National Tax Allotment.*