DILG and UNDP launch Mandanas-Garcia flagship report
December 6, 2022
Quezon City – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines launched a report featuring key policy notes on the Mandanas-Garcia Transition – a ruling which has enabled local government units (LGU) to receive a National Tax Allotment in 2022 that is 37.89 percent higher year-on-year.
The groundbreaking ruling is set to provide more opportunities and flexibility for LGUs to design, plan, implement, and monitor programs, projects, and activities by enabling them to receive a larger share of national funds through the National Tax Allotment and by having provisions which can further support decentralization and capacity-building. The additional resources will be pivotal to LGUs as selected programs, projects, and activities are to be devolved to local government as part of the government’s decentralization.
In line with this, the DILG and UNDP Philippines have worked on a series of policy notes tackling key issues related to these transitions. These policy notes have been repackaged as chapters of a flagship report entitled “Decentralization, Digitalization, and Development: Strengthening Local Governance for Crisis Response, Recovery, Resilience, and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The report was launched by DILG Undersecretary Marlo L. Iringan and UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran. The activity was attended by representatives from both national and local government, civil society, academe, and private sector groups. The launch which also featured a panel discussion with invited local government leaders from Baguio City and Agoncillo in Batangas, spurred relevant dialogues that can aid policy making and that will help address the issues related to the Transition and to the national recovery plan implementation.
The authors of the report’s chapters presented highlights of findings and key recommendations. These include revisiting the distribution of LGU transfers, lengthening the devolution transition period and providing tailor-fit capacity assistance to LGUs, revamping policies and methods in preparing for natural and man-made crises, and pursuing civic technologies to empower citizen participation.
During his message Undersecretary Iringan noted that the report “provides scientific and context-based policy notes tackling issues related to local governance. The policy notes cover a myriad of topics from local fiscal administration, local revenue generation, climate and conflict-related crises, demand for technology and innovation, the absorptive capacity and underspending of local governments, social accountability, among other critical governance areas that are crucial for further empowering our LGUs. These policy notes show that institutions – DILG, UNDP, and other development partners – can collaborate with local government units to help create a better local governance landscape.”
In turn, Dr. Ramachandran stated that the Mandanas-Garcia ruling is “also an opportunity to rethink and reconfigure aspects of governance such as service delivery, intergovernmental relations, intergovernmental fund transfers, and multi-level governance capacity.”
During his 2022 State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos declared his intention to clarify the roles and responsibilities between the national and local governments. He further highlighted the importance of well-implemented response initiatives during calamities and crises, wherein local governments usually play the first responder role. Lastly, the President stressed the importance of digitalization as a means of achieving, greater capability, and efficiency in governance processes.