The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has started a series of orientations and workshops to help LGUs prepare their Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs) in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia petitions next year.
In an issued statement Tuesday, August 10, the DILG said the move is in accordance with Executive Order (EO) No. 138.
Año said the DTP would guide LGUs to fully assume devolved responsibilities and services by 2022. It will guide their efforts to improve organizational and institutional capabilities over the following three years.
“We will coach and guide LGUs every step of the way to ensure that they are ready for full devolution starting with their preparation of DTPs. This is indeed a collaborative effort between the national government agencies (NGAs) and LGUs towards attaining our goal of full devolution,” said DILG Sec. Eduardo M. Año.
“The LGUs’ respective DTPs shall also serve as guide in the monitoring and performance assessment of the LGUs by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), DILG, and other NGAs concerned,” he added.
He said in the statement that the DILG and DBM will jointly issue LGU DTP Guidelines to provide the necessary guidance to our LGUs in the preparation of their respective DTPs.
“As they prepare their DTPs, LGUs are encouraged to coordinate and collaborate with NGAs to ensure complementarity of devolution efforts between the national and local governments,” Año said.
EO 138 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in June this year, requiring all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays to prepare their DTPs in close coordination with the NGAs concerned in order to guide them toward full assumption of devolved functions and services that come with more financial resources.
In Mandanas et al. v. Executive Secretary et al. case, the SC held that all collections of national taxes, except those accruing to special purpose funds and special allotments for the utilization and development of the national wealth, should be included in the computation of the base of the Internal Revenue Allotment of LGUs.
Año said that this week, the regional orientations for DILG Provincial Devolution Core Teams (DCTs), Provincial Devolution Transition Committees (DTCs), City and Municipal DTCs, among others, have started to discuss the prescribed components, processes, and mechanisms for the preparation of LGU DTPs.
“After the regional activities, the DILG will conduct Provincial, City and Municipal, and Barangay DTP Workshops to further assist LGUs in preparing their respective DTPs,” he said.
LGU DTP Toolkit
According to DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya, DILG field offices will be equipped with an “LGU DTP Toolkit” to assist LGUs’ implementation of the SC ruling on the Mandanas and Garcia petitions as well as EO 138.
“Our field officers will have three primary tools in capacitating LGUs in the making of DTPs namely: the Communications Strategy for the Mandanas SC Ruling and EO 138; the LGU DTP Guidelines; and the Capacity Development Agenda for DTPs,” said Malaya.
Under the IRR of EO 138, provinces, cities, and municipalities are also directed to formulate their respective Capacity Development Agenda (CDA) based on the assessment framework and guidelines to be issued by the DILG-Local Government Academy.
The CDA shall be guided by, among others, the strategy to enable the LGUs to effectively absorb, maintain, and sustain the responsibilities under a fully devolved setup.
Malaya says that the DILG, and the other NGAs concerned, despite the pandemic have already been hard at work in prepping LGUs for the extensive communication and advocacy campaign on the Mandanas SC ruling for the second semester of 2021.