Mandanas Ruling, set to implement in 2022 due to EO 138

by Thiago Santos June 18, 2021 Gov. DoDo Mandanas (Photo from Batangas PIO) BATANGAS CITY - Towards stronger LGUs. With the implementation ...

by Thiago Santos
June 18, 2021

Mandanas Ruling, set to implement in 2022 due to EO 138
Gov. DoDo Mandanas (Photo from Batangas PIO)

BATANGAS CITY - Towards stronger LGUs. With the implementation of the Mandanas Ruling from 2022, the funds received by local governments will increase throughout the Philippines to carry out the necessary projects, especially basic services in each locality.

The implementation of full devolution or full transfer of power and resources, in accordance with the 1991 Local Government Code (LGC), from the national government to local government units (LGUs) is expected from Fiscal Year 2022 to 2024.

This was through the signing by President Rodrigo Duterte of Executive Order 138, which stipulates "Full Devolution of Certain Functions of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, Creation of a Committee on Devolution, and for other purposes."

EO 138 will ensure the smooth implementation of government decentralization, enshrined in the 1987 Constitution and LGC, including increasing the share of LGUs in national taxes provided by the Supreme Court in their Mandanas Ruling, issued on the 3 of July 2018.

In 1991, when the LGC became law, the transfer of implementation of basic services and facilities to LGUs began. This is based on the belief that LGUs are in a more appropriate position to properly meet the needs of their constituents because they see it more, compared to the national government. But the devolution was not complete because the funds required for its implementation were not fully transferred to the LGUs.

Even the tax sharing has not been in full swing, which even had to file a petition in the Supreme Court in August 2013 by Gov. DoDo Mandanas and former Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia, Jr., when they were still representatives of their respective districts in the Lower House, to correct this.

In the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the said petition, and stipulated, in accordance with the 1987 Constitution, that all national taxes should come, not just from the National Internal Revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR. ), the share fund of LGUs. As a result, the National Tax Allotment base fund will increase which will give local governments the opportunity to quickly implement the necessary projects, especially basic services in each locality.

Thanks to EO 138, it will be possible to have a local government structure that is accountable and responsive to the needs of the people, and in which LGUs will be granted greater autonomy, power, authority, responsibility, and necessary funding. The order also stressed that local chief executives must ensure that the funds available to the LGUs will be used for basic services and facilities, before being allocated to other projects.

National government agencies and LGUs will prepare their respective devolution transition plans (DTP), which comply with the guidelines issued by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). The DTPs will also define the functions and services to be assigned to the LGUs, and the strategy to be used for their proper implementation.

Establish a Committee on Devolution (ComDev) to oversee and monitor the implementation of administrative and fiscal decentralization objectives; resolve issues and matters that may arise; ensure the smooth disbursement of LGUs' share funds, and ensure continuous public service of national government branches and LGUs.

ComDev will be headed by the DILG Secretary as co-chairperson, assisted by the DBM Secretary. Committee members include the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary; Secretary of Finance; Executive Secretary; and presidents of the Leagues of Provinces, Cities, and Municipalities of the Philippines; League of Barangays of the Philippines, and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.

The EO also includes the proposal of a Growth Equity Fund (GEF) to Congress, which will serve as a fund for projects focused on poor, disadvantaged, and underprivileged LGUs to help them fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them due to the occurrence of devolution.


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