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Government “seriously” examining full devolution of power issues

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On Wednesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. stated that his administration is “extremely serious” about evaluating the effects of fully delegating some executive branch duties to local government entities (LGUs).

Considering the limitations on funding, manpower, and experience, he acknowledged that Executive Order (EO) 138 signed by his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, may be harmful to some LGUs.

“For the sake of pag-aralan nang mabuti ‘yung [EO] 138, I have been gagamitin for the past year. We will use this year to carefully examine EO 138. Tingnan natin that siguro may mga function kasi na binibigay sa local, hindi naman appropriate sa local talaga. Check to verify whether any duties that should not have been given to local governments have been transferred to them “Marcos made this statement at the Manila Hotel at the League of Municipalities of the Philippines’ (LMP) general congress.

“Therefore that is what we are investigating. As I previously stated, you can anticipate that we are seriously considering the issues raised by the Mandanas ruling and how we will implement them. This is because we anticipate that by next year, or in 2024, our collection will have improved because in 2021, there was an improvement and our economy was recovering. Possibly, we can learn from it “Added he.

In order to ensure that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Mandanas-Garcia case is implemented and to promote the autonomy and empowerment of LGUs, Duterte signed EO 138 in June 2021 which directs the full devolution of several executive branch responsibilities to the LGUs.

According to the EO, the local government should get complete devolution of the powers, services, and facilities no later than the end of 2024.

The “greatest” problem the LGUs are currently facing, according to Marcos, is conforming to the Mandanas order, and he did not rule out the prospect that several of them would suffer losses.

“It appears to be in good shape when you glance at the paper. But the overall result for many local governments — not just a few, but many — is that the chief executive of a local constituency will have access to fewer resources “said he.

“All ears.”

With the recent changes, Marcos underlined the necessity to “rationalize” government operations in order to enhance the nation’s current structure.

Marcos gave the local government units his word that the federal government would listen to their complaints with open ears.

“I haven’t been in touch with the national government since, so that’s why. It is very vital that the national government pays attention to you. Asahan niyo na dito sa administrasyong ito ay nakabukas lahat ng aking pandinig upang marinig kung ano ang pangangailangan ng ating mga local officials at kung anuman ang ating magagawa upang solusyonan ang mga issue na hin Anticipate that this government is open to hearing from our local leaders about their needs and what can be done to address the issues they are now facing “added he.

Marcos assured them while highlighting their essential contribution to assisting the national government to expand the Philippine economy.

“In your municipality, you are the foremost authority. You are the one who is most conscious of your issues. Also, you are the most knowledgeable about potential fixes “added he. “Once more, the development and transformation of our economy will always begin at the grassroots level.”

Together with the annual allocations of PHP820.3 billion from the LGUs’ share of the national tax collection, an allocation of PHP16.5 billion under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) is made available to assist local governments in providing the services that have been devolved to them.

The LMP 2023 General Assembly’s theme, “Strengthening Local Capabilities Around Autonomy and Promoting Resiliency,” highlights the various difficulties municipal mayors face as well as the proposed changes to make local service delivery more effective.

The LMP is required to “organize for the primary purpose of ventilating, articulating and crystallizing issues affecting municipal government administration, and securing, through proper and legal means, solutions thereto.” This is stated in Republic Act 7160, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991.

The LMP has supported local autonomy at the municipal level since its establishment in 1991, encouraged citizen involvement in local government administration, and complemented national government efforts to create chances for gainful employment, according to Marcos.

The LMP promoted collaboration across various sectors to meet common development objectives and aided the national government in developing and implementing programs for municipalities.

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