PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, that his administration is thoroughly studying the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, stressing that it is very important to “get it right.”
In an interview with reporters, Marcos said that lower-class communities would be at a disadvantage if functions were devolved to them despite the extra internal revenue allotment (IRA). He noted that this stance contradicts the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling, which fully transfers or devolves the delivery of basic services to the local government units.
“The conclusion that we arrived at is that hindi pwedeng one size fits all. Iba-iba kasi. Maraming common problems, pero ‘pag titingnan mo, sasabihin mo third-class municipality, malaking range ‘yun ‘yung third class,” said Marcos.
(The conclusion that we arrived at is that it cannot be one size fits all. They are all different. There are many common problems, but when you look at it, if you say third-class municipality, that's a big range of third class.)
“And that the functions that belong to the National Government should belong, should stay with the National Government,” he added.
The Supreme Court (SC) issued the ruling in response to the petition made by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former governor of Bataan, Enrique Garcia Jr., together with other local elective officials in 2013.
It affirmed that LGUs should be given a just share on all national taxes collected and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) effective 2022.
Currently, LGUs get their IRA from 40 percent of national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR. With the Mandanas ruling, the LGUs’ IRA is projected to increase by 27.61 percent.
Then President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) no. 138 for the implementation of the SC’s ruling.
Marcos ordered concerned government agencies to look into the said EO for possible amendments and determine what National Government functions should be devolved to LGUs.
Marcos, however, clarified that the implementation of the Mandanas ruling is not an alternative to the constitutional amendment being pushed in Congress.
“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,” he 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. (SunStar Philippines)
March 22, 2023
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