2023 May 16
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. On Tuesday told local executives to continue promoting good governance to attain the shared goal of advancing the Filipinos’ welfare by seeking a strengthened partnership with the national government.
Marcos made the remark during the oath-taking ceremony for the newly elected officers of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines (PBMLP) at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
For the past 35 years, the PBMLP remains a staunch partner of the national government in the conduct of good governance and achieving excellence in public service, anchored in the core ideas of capacity-building, effective legislation and advancement of general welfare of provinces.
A former local chief executive, Marcos stressed the importance of cooperation between the national government and the local government units (LGUs) to ensure the country’s development.
He said the national government needs the LGUs’ assistance to know “important” issues at the local level, including political rivalries.
“We need your help in the national government. We have to work together. We have to know what the local conditions are,” he said in a speech delivered before the newly elected PBMLP officials.
“Let’s continue this. Let’s strengthen this partnership that we have, the local and national government. Because that is the only way that we can maximize the resources, the time and the energy that we are spending for the development of the Philippines,” Marcos added.
Marcos said the national and local governments should work together in carrying out various programs aimed at uplifting Filipino people’s lives.
He ensured that his administration would preserve local government autonomy, while LGUs work with the national government.
“Para maging maayos naman ang patakbo natin para in sync ang local government at saka sa national government (It would help us provide good service and make sure that the local and national governments are in sync),” he said.
Marcos also pledged to provide assistance to local governments, particularly municipalities, to improve their capability as the national government devolves its function to the LGUs as a result of the Mandanas ruling of the Supreme Court (SC).
In March, Marcos directed the review of Executive Order (EO) 138 for possible amendments and determine what national government functions should be devolved to the LGU following the SC ruling.
EO 138 was signed in 2021 to support the efficient implementation of the SC ruling on the Mandanas-Garcia case and strengthen the autonomy and empowerment of LGUs.
When the Marcos administration assumed office last year, many LGUs raised concern over their inability and lack of preparation for the adoption of full devolution, particularly on big ticket and high-impact projects.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) noted in March that around 450 LGUs, particularly fourth and fifth class municipalities, are not ready to assume their devolved functions by next year.
In 2018, the SC ruled that the just share of LGUs from the national taxes is not limited to “national internal revenue taxes” collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and other tax collecting agencies.
Under the Mandanas ruling, the national government is mandated to expand the share of LGUs in tax collection.
On the other hand, LGUs are required to handle the responsibility of operating social services like agriculture, connectivity and health within their jurisdictions.
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)