Devolution – Department of Budget and Management (DBM-CAR) Regional Director Irene Gahid (Top left) presents to the Cordillera Regional Development Council a resolution creating the Regional Committee on Devolution and later was approved by the RDC-CAR.

The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) in its third quarter meeting on September 9 approved the creation of the Cordillera Regional Committee on Devolution (ComDev) as mandated by the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order No. 138 (EO 138), “Full Devolution of the Executive Branch to Local Governments, Creation of a Committee on Devolution, and Other Purposes,” issued on June 1, 2021.

Section 9 of the IRR of EO 138 mandates the creation of a regional sub-committee of the ComDev and their respective secretariats that will serve as a special committee under the Regional Development Council.

The creation of the ComDev was a result of the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) in 2018. In the SC ruling, local government units (LGUs) are entitled to a “just share” in all national taxes collected except those accruing to special purpose funds and special allotments for the utilization and development of the national wealth.

With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation in 2022, it is projected that LGUs will have an increase in their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) shares. The increase will empower the LGUs in providing basic services and facilities to their constituents, and aid them in the effective discharge of other duties and functions devolved to them under Section 17 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.

The committee is chaired by DBM-CAR and DILG-CAR. Its members include the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR), Department of Finance- Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF) , Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CAR), Civil Service Commission (CSC-CAR), Department of Health (DOH-CAR), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD-CAR), and Regional Chairperson of the League of Provinces, the Provincial presidents of the League of Municipalities, the Regional representative of the League of Cities, Baguio City Mayor, the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, and the Regional Chairperson of the Philippine Councilors League.

The functions of the Regional ComDev include cascading policies and guidelines from the National ComDev to the regional and field offices of the National Government Agencies (NGAs) concerned and LGUs; determine issues, concerns, challenges, information gaps and the necessary actions to address them on a regional scale;  elevate to the National ComDev with its recommendation those that require action at the national level;  strengthen the coordination between the NGAs and LGUs to facilitate smooth transition to full devolution; and monitor and evaluate the implementation  of the Devolution Transition Plans (DTPs) of the NGAs concerned and LGUs of the region.

By Bob Lyndon B. Daroya