December 2, 2022

Only two municipalities in the Cordillera have not completed their devolution transition plan (DTP).

The DTP will be the roadmap of local government units as they absorb devolved national government functions in compliance with a 2018 decision of the Supreme Court that increased the national tax allotment (NTA) of LGUs.

Among the devolved functions to LGUs are environmental management, agriculture, health care, public works, and social welfare. 

Restricted mobility and LGU employees getting infected with the Covid-19 were the reasons why the two LGUs have not completed the DTP, according to DILG Regional DTP coordinator Gerald Duagan.

The DILG has withheld the names of the two LGUs, which had until Nov. 12 to complete their DTP.

Executive Order 138 and Joint Memorandum Circular 2021-02 of the departments of Budget and Management and the Interior and Local Government state the devolution should begin by 2022 and should be fully realized by 2024.

Components of the DTP are development priorities, capacities, resources, functions, services, facilities, projects, programs and activities to be fully assumed by LGUs.

The DTP also contains a modified organizational structure of LGUs in view of new positions that will be created and additional functions that current personnel will carry out.

In terms of shares from the NTA (formerly Internal Revenue Allotment), the DTP contains the financial forecast and resource mobilization strategies of LGUs considering that for fiscal years 2023 and 2024, the expected NTA of LGUs might not be as expected due to shortfall in collections in the preceding year (2021) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The expected increase in NTA might not happen dahil kaunti ang (revenue) collections,” Duagan said, hence the need for LGUs to come up with strategies on how to address the expected shortfall in allocation during the transition period.

As a result of the increased share of LGUs, NTA is projected to increase by as much as 50 percent.  – Rimaliza A. Opiña