DBM says Marcos wants study on devolved LGU functions

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2023 04:47 PM

Study may be finished in 2 months: Pangandaman 

MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has asked a development panel to review possible amendments on the devolution of functions of local government units before the Mandanas ruling takes effect, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday. 

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman was referring to amendments under former President Rodrigo Duterte's Executive Order (EO) No. 138 which delineates local governments' functions, noting that some localities are struggling to carry out high-impact projects. 

"[Noong] sinabi sa atin ng ating mga LGUs na hindi pa po nila kaya, even given that we are giving them enough funding as a result of the Mandanas case, hindi po nila kaya iimplement yung ibang projects na medyo, ang tinatawag nating mga big ticket and high impact projects," Pangandaman told Palace reporters. 

"Iba-iba po ang level ng capacity ng ating mga local government units. Of course, iyong mga nasa cities po, medyo advanced and developed na rin po iyan," she added. 

"Because they have enough funding, mayroon na rin po silang enough manpower to implement the projects but there are LGUs po that we know are really lagging po. Hindi po nila kayang i-implement iyong mga projects kasi kulang po ang kanilang technical expertise and capacity to implement those projects."

Marcos' instruction, she said, was for the panel to "further study the responsibilities, projects, and programs that LGUs can do" and identify which projects could be left to the national government. 

The study by the panel, composed of the budget, finance, and interior departments and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), may be finished in 2 months, said the official. 

NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan will spearhead the study. 

Video from RTVM

"There are a lot of studies already done by different academic institutions like [Philippine Institute for Development Studies] and even our development partners," she said. 

"Maybe we can just look at them again and then mabilis lang po ‘to... baka mayroon na po kaming study and we are able to show this to the President already and makapag-present na rin po tayo kung kailangan po talaga nating i-amend iyong EO 138," she added. 

It was also possible to adjust the deadline of the devolution of local government units beyond 2024, if "it was not really possible," she said.