Marcos directs further study on full devolution



The Committee on Devolution (ComDev), chaired by Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, is set to conduct further study on the full devolution of functions and services to Local Government Units (LGUs) based on their respective absorptive capacities, including possible amendments to Executive Order No. 138, following the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“As instructed by the President, we will again sit down and identify which specific programs, activities, and projects can be carried out by the National Government Agencies, LGUs, and municipalities,” the Budget Chief said during the press briefing for the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC), following a sectoral meeting on full devolution with LGU representatives.

The said study, to be spearheaded by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, shall determine the need to extend the initial transition period of FY 2022-2024.

When asked what prevents LGUs from fully implementing their devolved functions, Secretary Pangandaman shared that while there are advanced and developed cities and municipalities with enough funding and manpower, there are lagging LGUs that lack the technical expertise and capacity.

“Tututukan po natin ‘yung mga 4th and 5th income class municipalities,” she added.

A P1.0 billion Growth Equity Fund was also allocated to assist these LGUs in addressing issues of marginalization, unequal development, high poverty incidence, and disparities of the net fiscal capacities of LGUs as they assume the devolved functions in the delivery of basic services and facilities.

Secretary Pangandaman further underscored the continuous capacity building activities being carried out by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Local Government Academy in coordination with oversight agencies such as, Department of Finance (DOF), NEDA, DBM, and implementing agencies.

“We also see the need for the national government to pursue a long-term capacity development strategy and program for the LGUs, and intensify capacity building interventions on revenue generation and resource mobilization to ensure that LGUs will be able to fund and sustain the implementation of devolved functions/services on their own,” the Budget Secretary said.

Catherine R. Cueto

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