MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the devolution of some functions to local government units from the national government, based on a document that Malacañang released on Wednesday.
“With the full devolution of the provision of basic services and facilities to the LGUs, national government agencies can assume more strategic and steering functions to address persistent development issues,” Duterte said in Executive Order 138.
To this end, he tasked all department secretaries and agency heads to review their respective mandates guided by the following principles.
- Public services with little or no benefit spillover are best administered and financed by lower level governments
- The provision of public goods and services that involve economies of scale is best assigned to higher levels of government
- Functions related to the redistributive role of government should be best assigned to the national government
The functions, services and facilities that will be fully devolved to LGUs “no later than the end of FY (fiscal year) 2024” shall include those under the Local Government Code, he said.
Duterte directed national government agencies and LGUs to submit their respective devolution transition plans to the budget department within 120 days from the Executive Order’s effectivity.
The budget department shall chair a “Committee on Devolution” that shall monitor efforts to decentralize functions, develop a plan to accept the public, and submit an annual program report, he said.
The panel shall also propose to Congress a “growth equity fund” to address unequal development and disparities in the fiscal capacities of LGUs by 2022, Duterte ordered.
Duterte, the first President from Mindanao, had said he would shift government power away from "Imperial Manila" in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
He also called for a shift of the system of governance from unitary to federal saying this would spur countryside development, but the move has not prospered.