President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Wednesday the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local government units is not an alternative to the proposed Charter change.
In an interview with reporters, Marcos was asked if giving autonomy to local government units would be an alternative to Charter change.
“No. The Charter change efforts are directed at the economic provisions of the Constitution, as far as I understand. And so that’s what that is about,” the President said.
“And the reason given by the proponents in the House and those in the Senate is that they need to be changed because these conditions have changed. And for us to take full advantage of the new economy, we have to amend the Constitution. So that’s not the same thing,” he added.
"What I think you are referring to is the way we are going to handle the devolution, for example, of different functions to the LGUs vis-à-vis the Mandanas-Garcia ruling. Pinag-aaralan pa namin ‘yun [We are still studying that]," Marcos said.
In February, Marcos 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.
Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman earlier said the completion of the study on the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to local government units could be finished in two months.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives already approved on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 3, which calls for a constitutional convention (con-con) to amend the 1987 Constitution.
For its part, the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes wrapped up its public hearings on the proposed measures seeking to amend the economic provisions of the Charter. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News