Local Government

Local government defined the term local government refers to a political subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs, with officials elected or otherwise selected, (De Leon, Hector, 2005). The broad scope of powers and tremendous obligations of the national government to the people has made it impossible for the national government to fully implement and enforce the law and solve the problems of the state.

The creation of local governments has eased the load of responsibilities that are within the jurisdiction of the central government. According to Alexis De Tocqueville, “a nation may establish a system of government but without the spirit of municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty. ” This statement exemplifies the importance of local government. Through local government, people can easily participate in the political process, and it is also a training ground for leadership. Importance of local government.

• Viable organs for the performance of local functions • Extension of the national government • Easy access of people in the affairs of the state Status of local government • Local governments are political bodies • Agents of the state Territorial and political subdivisions of the Philippines 1. Provinces 2. Cities 3. Municipalities 4. Barangays 5. Autonomous Regions for Muslim Mindanao and for the Cordilleras Dual status of local governments 1. As political bodies corporate – local government is considered a chartered entity and contracted partnership of the state.

They posses dual character: a. In their public or governmental aspect - they are agents of the state and have delegated the power to impose and collect taxes, preservation of peace and order and establishments of social services such as schools. b. In their private or corporate aspect – they are mere legal entities similar to a business corporation performing functions not strictly governmental. 2. Underlying test – the underlying test is whether the act of the local government is done for the common good or for the special benefit or profit of the corporate entity.

If the act is for the common good, it cannot be sued, for the second it can be sued. Corporate powers of local government Local government units shall have the following powers: 1. To have continuous succession in its corporate name 2. To sue and be sued 3. To have and use corporate seal 4. To acquire and convey real or personal property 5. To enter into contracts Meaning of local autonomy Under statutory provisions of their creation, local governments are allowed to exercise certain basic powers i. e. police power, power of eminent domain, and taxing power. Decentralization defined

Some of the powers possessed by the national government are transferred to the local government. Local governments can be effective in their operation when vested with some powers for the necessity of their operation. Decentralization is act of the central government to transfer basic powers to local government units. Why is autonomy important for local government units? A political entity that does not have control of the operation within the political jurisdiction cannot function well, so autonomy is a necessity for local government units to ensure their fullest development.

1. Importance of local solutions to local problems 2. Need for orderly management of local affairs 3. Desirability of self-reliance 4. Need for fullest development of local governments 5. Innate desire for self-government Mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum People who comprised the local government are granted some legal mechanisms to remove erring local government officials, to question an ordinance or law that may not be beneficial for the interest of the populace and may be directly involved in a legal process as far as their safety or well-being is concerned.

The following are legal processes to which the people may participate: 1. Recall of officers – is the legal process by which the registered voters of a local government unit remove, for loss of confidence elective local officials. 2. Initiative – is the legal process whereby registered voters of a local government may directly propose, enact, or amend any law or ordinance. 3. Referendum – is the legal process whereby the registered voters may approve, amend or reject an ordinance. Taxing power of local governments constitutionally granted.

1. Exists independently of legislation – local government units can create sources of revenue 2. Not absolute – the taxing power of the local government is constitutionally restricted; however it does not mean that their autonomy is usurped by the national government. Creation, division, merger of any local government unit Barangay A barangay may be created, divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered by law or by an ordinance of the sangguniang panlalawigan or sangguniang panlungsod subject to the approval of the majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit or units directly affected within such period of time as may be determined by the law or ordinance creating said barangay.

Municipality A municipality may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered only by an Act of Congress and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit or units directly affected.

Except as may otherwise be provided in the said Act, the plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its effectivity. City City may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress, and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit or units directly affected. Except as may otherwise be provided in such Act, the plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its effectivity.

Province A province may be created, divided, merged, abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, only by an Act of Congress and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite to be conducted by the Comelec in the local government unit or units directly affected. The plebiscite shall be held within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of effectivity of said Act, unless otherwise provided therein. Verifiable indicators in the creation and conversion of local government unit a. Income b. Population c. Land area.

Component cities and highly urbanized cities Component cities - form part of the province, voters of component cities which are under a province have the right to vote for elective provincial officials. Highly urbanized cities – are independent of the province, they are not subject to the supervisory powers of the province. Autonomous regions ARMM or Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was created as a result of a long clamor of the Muslims to be granted autonomy in running their so called ancestral domain and have control and allocation of natural resources.

Muslim Mindanao does not mean that all provinces of Mindanao exercise autonomy or part of the ARMM, only those provinces that voted to be autonomous were members of the ARMM. Provinces that are part of ARMM 1. Maguindanao 2. Lanao del Sur 3. Tawi-Tawi 4. Sulo 5. Basilan 6. Marawi city Another act that would have created the Cordillera Autonomous Region was rejected by the Cordillera voters, only the province of Ifugao had voted for the autonomous region. The Cordillera Region is composed of Benguet, Mountain Province, Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao and Abra.

Residual powers vested in the National Government An autonomous region like the ARMM may exercise power/s specifically defined in the provision to which it was created, however the constitution retains powers that may not be delegated or exercised by an autonomous region. Residual powers are powers not given by the constitution or by law to the autonomous regions but to the national government. Legislative powers of autonomous regions 1. Administrative organization 2. Creation of sources of revenue 3. Ancestral domain and natural resources 4. Personal, family, and property relations

5. Regional urban and rural planning development 6. Economic, social, and tourism development 7. Educational policies 8. Preservation and development of the cultural heritage Constitutional commissions function in a confluence manner. Though they maintain a seal of independence their powers and functions are directed toward political issues and problems arising from the conduct and operation of the government and its leaders. Thus, in order to guard the commissions from political maneuvering, they were created in a manner that no branches of government can abolish or repeal them.