THE local government units are all excited for next year. No. Not necessarily about the coming elections. The LGUs nationwide, including the provinces, cities, municipalities, and 4,390 barangays all over Eastern Visayas are excited because all of them will be one notch richer starting next year and onward. They will all be getting almost scores in percentage increase in revenue shares, scores more compared to their usual annual worth.
The landmark 2018 Mandanas ruling of the Supreme Court will finally take effect by next year, and LGUs nationwide will get 37.89% percent of such a hefty increase on its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares.
The substantial budget increase amounting to around Php959 billion will be proportionately distributed to the LGUs. But even if the amount significantly varies from one LGU to another, depending on the local government’s respective classifications and current IRA shares, it still is one huge substantial fiscal help.
Hopefully, the just and fair share won in this Mandanas case will help bolster the local government units’ capability to provide basic social services to their constituents. With LGUs now about to get double expendable resources, their services and programs should subsequently improve. The whole lot of LGUs should be expected to deliver what is good and what is best of public service their people deserve.
And in the meantime, with the technical help now being provided to LGUs by oversight government agencies such as DBM and DILG, particularly in the preparations and finalizations of their budget and investment plans for 2022, underspending or unnecessary fiscal imbalance next year, if there be any, should be nil.
Now, since implementing this Mandanas victory comes with the mandatory absorption of the LGUs of certain services, programs, and functions of affected agencies of a national government, they should all be subsequently devolved within the given three years’ timeline, otherwise, its failure will be another repeat of the 1991 local government code fiasco.
In the meantime, affected agencies of government, particularly the DSWD, DOH, DA, DTI, and DOT should have been able to complete now its current programs and projects that are affected. This is important so that LGUs will be guided early in drafting its enhanced budget and investment plans for 2022 and onward, based on its new and robust revenue allocations.
So yes, we are looking forward to next year’s improved services of the LGUs.