Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will be supporting local government units (LGUs) that are lagging behind in the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petition.
DILG Regional Office 3 Project Development and Management Section Chief Paolo Israel Franco shared that the agency is prepared in finding and assisting those LGUs with lesser capacities.
“With great funds comes great responsibility. If we will see, for the longest time, the LGUs are supposedly ready. However, due to some reasons, there is the possibility that some are lagging behind, and there are those which we think that still cannot take the responsibility,” he said.
The Mandanas-Garcia ruling 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.
Franco also said that as decision-makers, the Supreme Court’s ruling will allow local government officials to reinforce programs and projects which are in dire need of the community, and not only depending on the plans funded by the national government.
“What’s good about this is that because the funds are there, and they will be the ones to implement, there is flexibility on their part. Since they have the funds, the LGUs will know what projects to do and prioritize in their respective communities,” he added.
The ruling is expected to create a balloon of 27.66 percent or about 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.
Relative to this, DILG is requiring the LGUs to formulate their Capacity Development Agenda and Devolution Transition Plans to show how they would allocate those funds.
“DILG is here to assist the LGUs in their day-to-day operations in all aspects of governance such as budgeting, planning, implementation and even those in the barangay levels such as training the barangay tanods,” Franco said.
The agency shall also conduct capacity development training including public financial management processes, local planning, investment programming, resource mobilization, and budgeting to ensure that the revenue allotment is in accordance with the Local Government Code.
Meanwhile, Franco reported that there are mechanisms in place to ensure that local government officials will not translate the Mandanas-Garcia ruling as a ground for corruption or abuse of power.
“For DILG, we have the Bantay Korapsyon program where they can report erring local government officials who are not performing, or involved in corruption issues,” he added.
The public can also report officials who do not perform their duties and responsibilities through the Presidential Hotline 8888. (MJSC/JLDC-PIA 3)