The Mandanas-Garcia ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) and Executive Order (EO) 138, which enhance the funding and authority of local government units (LGUs) to fulfill their tasks and deliver services to their inhabitants, are now in effect.

Following the aforementioned 2019 Supreme Court verdict, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order 138 in June 2021, requiring the national government to fully transfer certain functions and devolve programs and projects to local governments.

The Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Budget and Management (DBM) collaborated to hold webinars and engage LGUs and other stakeholders in a comprehensive discussion about the latest developments, experiences, differing perspectives, and potential impacts of these nationwide changes.

Participating in Mandanas-Garcia ruling and devolution conversation is part of the national and local governments’ commitment in the implementation of the devolution policy.

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The DILG, DBM and the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) of the Department of Finance will also oversee the provision of capacity development interventions for local governments and shall develop the appropriate mechanisms to ensure efficient utilization of government resources.

DILG Secretary Ed Año stressed the oversight functions of the national government, focusing primarily on the development of policies, service delivery standards, capacity building, provision of technical assistance, and LGU compliance monitoring.

BLGF Acting Director Brenda Miranda said in an interview that the bureau’s focus is to train the LGUs in their preparation for the devolution transition plan with respect to their financial matters.

“Their resources would increase, because of the Mandanas ruling, but this also needs bigger responsibilities. So, kami yung nag-aassist sa kanila (we will assist them), together with DILG and DBM,” Miranda said in a news release on Thursday.

“[Our focus is] capacity building, kasi yun din yung nasa EO 138 (because that is indicated in the EO 138). Capacity building under revenue generation and mobilization. Paano ba nila gagamitin yun [budget] (How will they use it) efficiently and effectively. Tinuturuan kasi namin sila [LGUs] ng (We train them about) Local Revenue Forecast. This will serve them to guide in the budgeting and expenditures decision,” she added.

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