Press Release
September 9, 2021

Tolentino calls out DBM for deviating SC's 'Mandanas ruling'

MANILA - Senator Francis 'Tol' N. Tolentino called out the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for supposedly 'deviating' from the so-called 'Mandanas ruling' of the Supreme Court (SC) that is expected to benefit local government units (LGUs) in the country.

During today's budget deliberation of the Senate Committee on Finance, Tolentino asked the DBM on why the agency is drifting from the mandate issued by the high court, which specifies that the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs must be computed based on all national taxes, and not just from National Internal Revenue Taxes (NIRT).

Tolentino stressed that he can't understand why the DBM is using terms such as "re-calibrate, assess, monitor" on the existing guidelines for the upcoming implementation of the Mandanas ruling. According to the senator, those terminologies are inconsistent and nowhere to be found in the said SC decision.

"It appears that you are deviating from the command of the mandate of the Supreme Court—the high tribunal—on what to do and how to do it... so parang ayaw niyo pa ibigay yung puder sa mga local government units," Tolentino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government said.

According to Tolentino, specific LGUs were not properly consulted and presented with the entire road map of the Mandanas ruling implementation, especially on the provision in which, if national government agencies (NGAs) found out that it is not feasible to fully devolve certain functions to fourth and fifth class LGUs by 2022, the current authority may present "strong justifications" of retaining it in their proposed budgets.

Tolentino warned that if the DBM proceeds with its current guidelines on how to carry out the 2018 SC decision, then the Mandanas ruling will be only implemented on a "granular" basis and limited to the discretion of the NGAs.

"You gave yourself the discretion to deviate from the Supreme Court's decision, as well as to deny the full benefits of the Mandanas ruling to our LGUs if you consider that not feasible," Tolentino told DBM.

Tolentino later asked DBM officials to provide with specific figures on how much will be given per LGUs by each NGAs once its started its devolution of functions under the Mandanas ruling.

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