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Central Visayas RDC Urges DBM, NGAs to Consider LGUs’ Absorptive Capacities in the Devolution of Executive Functions

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The Central Visayas RDC in its recently held 2nd Quarter Full Council Virtual Meeting on 18 June 2021 requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and concerned national government agencies (NGAs) to implement a phased approach in devolving executive functions from the national offices to local government units.

The request was moved by Cebu LMP President and Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, who cited the absorptive capacity of the LGUs as one of the main challenges in undertaking the executive functions previously handled by the national agencies.

By implementing a phased approach within a defined timeline, LGUs can better prepare their local staff in assuming their new roles. Executive Order No. 138, which provides for the full devolution of certain executive functions to LGUs, states under Section 5 that LGUs shall undertake necessary actions to prepare for the greater role and responsibilities they are expected to assume.

Apart from the phased approach, the Central Visayas RDC also requested DBM to reconsider a provision of the National Budget Memorandum No. 138 s.2021 particularly on item 2.7 wherein concerned agencies were instructed to refrain from including in their FY 2022 budget proposals the devolved local projects for 1st to 4th income class LGUs.

Central Visayas consists of 3 highly-urbanized cities (HUCs), 13 component cities, and 116 municipalities. Sixteen LGUs are first-class municipalities, 9 are second-class, 21 are third-class and 44 are fourth-class.

The virtual meeting was attended by over 115 participants from national and regional line agencies, LGUs and the private sector.