DILG: CL LGUs are receptive, compliant to full devolution

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Local government units (LGUs) in Central Luzon are very receptive and compliant about the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Karl Caesar Rimando disclosed that as of January 27, almost all LGUs are done with their Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs).

“Right now, we have a 98.13 percent compliance rating or 3,044 out of 3,102 barangays who have completed and submitted their DTPs. For the cities and municipalities, 119 out of  128 LGUs already submitted their plans. That is about 93 percent compliance,” he said. 

For the provinces and highly urbanized cities (HUCs), six out of nine have completed and submitted their DTPs.

Rimando clarified that compared to the barangays, cities and municipalities, the percentage of DTP submission among provinces and HUCs is lower because they are still waiting for the DTPs to be provided by national government agencies to serve as their basis or reference to extract information to be included in their DTPs for 2022 to 2025.

Another factor that contribute to the slightly lower percentage of submission, he said, is the restriction in mobility and mass gathering brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Those LGUs that have yet to submit their plans are those who are severely affected by the Covid pandemic. Another challenge is instead of holding large-scale meetings or planning, some LGUs are limited to holding numerous small-group meetings or sectoral planning because they are under Alert Level 3 so it took them some time before they were able to finalize their DTPs,” the director said. 

Meanwhile, the DILG official shared that they are finalizing the DTP analytical framework to be used to further strengthen the DTP preparation of LGUs. 

“We can see here in our region that the LGUs from the barangay, city, municipal, and province are active in preparing their DTPs. In fact, we had a national orientation on DTP quality assessment on January 14. This was followed by a regional orientation on DTP quality assessment tool on January 17. We are also having LGU quality assessment from January 18 to February 11,” Rimando said.

For its part, Department of Budget and Management reported that as of January 20, a total of 16 national government agencies already submitted their DTPs; while only four have yet to submit their plans.

Of the 16 agencies that submitted their plans, six have completed in-depth evaluation; four are ongoing in-depth evaluation; five are yet to submit their revised DTPs and were already subjected to initial evaluation; and one has undergone preliminary submission. 

DTPs contain the list of programs and services that national government agencies will devolve to the local government units. 

The Mandanas-Garcia ruling of the Supreme Court will create a full devolution of powers and resources to the LGUs this 2022 by leaving to them the management and budget of basic services and facilities in their localities.

This is expected to create a balloon of 27.66% or more than P234.4 billion in the internal revenue allotment of LGUs from estate tax, documentary stamp tax, travel tax, sin tax, and other taxes collected by the national government, aside from the Bureau of Internal Revenue collections.