Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman on Tuesday said the completion of the study on the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local government units (LGUs) could be finished in two months.
"In fact, there are a lot of studies already done by different academic institutions like PIDS and even our development partners, maybe we can just look at them again and then mabilis lang po 'to, siguro in just two months baka mayroon na po kaming study and we are able to show this to the President already," Pangandaman said at a Palace press briefing.
"Makapag-present na rin po tayo kung kailangan nating i-amend ang EO 138," she added.
(This will be fast. Maybe in just two months we may have a study and we are able to show this to the President already. We can also present if there's a need to amend EO 138.)
In February, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the government is reviewing Executive Order No. 138, which aims to provide guidelines on the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to LGUs.
Signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte, the EO was released to implement the July 2018 Supreme Court ruling widening the base of the LGUs' share in taxes or the so-called "Mandanas Ruling."
The Supreme Court ruling favoring increased share of taxes for LGUs stemmed from the petition filed by former Batangas Representative Hermilando Mandanas.
Pangandaman said she had a meeting with Marcos on Tuesday regarding the study on EO 138. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan will lead the committee that will further study the full devolution.
According to Pangandaman, there are LGUs that cannot enforce yet some of their big-ticket programs.
"There are LGUs po that we know are really lagging po... Hindi nila kayang i-implement ang mga projects kasi kulang ang kanilang technical expertise and capacity to implement those projects," she said.
"There are also LGUs, especially those in higher income status na kaya naman po nila ang mag-implement. Ang tututukan natin dito ay 'yung mga 4th, 5th class municipalities. There are roughly 450 of them," he added.
(There are LGUs that lack technical expertise and capacity to implement their projects. There are LGUs, especially those with higher income status, that can implement such projects. We are going to focuson the 4th and 5th class municipalities. There are roughly 450 of them.)
Marcos earlier emphasized the need to support LGUs for the country's economic growth, adding that he is also eyeing to increase the role of LGUs in the planning process of the national government. —KBK, GMA Integrated News