President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on the local government units to do their part in strengthening the partnership between the national and local governments to advance the administration’s development agenda.
Speaking during the oathtaking ceremony for the newly elected officers of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines (PBMLP) in Malacañang, President Marcos said both the national and local governments should complement each other in carrying out various programs aimed at uplifting people’s lives.
“We need your help in the national government. We have to work together. We have to know what the local conditions are. We have to know what… Hanggang sa political rivalries kailangan malaman natin. All of these things are important,” Marcos told the newly elected local officials.
“So, let’s continue this. Let’s strengthen this partnership that we have, the locals, local and national government, because that’s the only way that we can maximize the resources and the time and the energy that we are spending for…,” he said.
No matter how brilliant and beautiful plans are, if they are not implemented, they won’t have much impact on the people, Marcos said.
What the administration is trying to balance, Marcos said, is how to preserve local government autonomy and at the same time enabling LGUs to work with the national government.
“Para maging maayos naman ang patakbo natin para in sync ang local government at saka sa national government,” he said.
The President also vowed to assist local governments, particularly municipalities, improve their capability as the national government devolves its function to the LGUs as a result of the Mandanas ruling of the Supreme Court.
Last March, Marcos ordered government agencies to study Executive Order No. 138 for possible amendments and to determine what national government functions should be devolved to the LGU following SC’s Mandanas ruling.
When the Marcos administration took over last year, many LGUs raised the concern on their inability and lack of preparation for the adoption of full devolution, particularly on big ticket and high-impact projects.
EO 138, s. 2021 was issued to support the efficient implementation of the SC ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case and strengthen the autonomy and empowerment of LGUs.
It directs full devolution of certain functions of the Executive branch to the LGUs and also provides for the creation of a Committee on Devolution to monitor the implementation of the EO.
The SC ruled in 2018 that the just share of LGUs from the national taxes is not limited to “national internal revenue taxes” collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other tax collecting agencies.
Under the Mandanas ruling, the national government is mandated to expand the share of LGUs in tax collection.
On the other hand, LGUs are required to handle the responsibility of operating social services like agriculture, connectivity and health within their jurisdictions.
Catherine R. Cueto