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2. Local Autonomy. Questions: What is Local Autonomy ? Self-Determination? Decentralization? Devolution? Deconcentration? Can LGUs exercise powers not given to them ? What is the authority of the President and Congress over LGUs? What is the extent of supervision ? of control ?

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2 local autonomy
2. Local Autonomy


  • What is Local Autonomy? Self-Determination? Decentralization? Devolution? Deconcentration?

  • Can LGUs exercise powers not given to them?

  • What is the authority of the President and Congress over LGUs?

  • What is the extent of supervision? of control?

  • What are the parameters in resolving conflicts between LGUs on one hand and OP/ NGAs/ GOCCs on the other?

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2. Local Autonomy

  • “does not contemplate making mini-states out of local government units”

  • “LGUs must be reminded that they merely form part of the whole.”

  • “Regional autonomy is the degree of self-determination exercised by the local government unit vis-à-vis the central government.”

  • “means a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization”

  • “Autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power.”

  • “Decentralization comes in two forms — deconcentration and devolution.”

  • “Decentralization simply means the devolution of national administration, not power, to local governments.”

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2. Local Autonomy

2 local autonomy3
2. Local Autonomy

2 local autonomy4
2. Local Autonomy

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2. Local Autonomy

Devolution and Deconcentration:

  • Integral components of decentralization

  • Defined under the 1991 LGC

  • Involve transfer of powers

  • Source of Powers: NGAs

  • Time-bound

  • Mandatory processes

  • Subject to withdrawal

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2. Local Autonomy

  • “The 14 sections in Article X thereof markedly increased the powers of the local governments in order to accomplish the goal of a more meaningful local autonomy. Indeed, the value of local governments as institutions of democracy is measured by the degree of autonomy that they enjoy.”

  • “Where a law is capable of two interpretations, one in favor of centralized power in Malacañang and the other beneficial to local autonomy, the scales must be weighed in favor of autonomy.”

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2. Local Autonomy

  • “Congress retains control of the local government units although in significantly reduced degree xxx”

  • “The Constitution confines the President's power over the LGUs to one of general supervision. This provision has been interpreted to exclude the power of control.”

  • “The President can only interfere in the affairs and activities of a local government unit if he or she finds that the latter has acted contrary to law.”

  • “The matter being peculiarly local in nature, the municipal council alone is in a better position xxx” (Principle of Subsidiarity; Municipal Dimension Rule)

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Ensure that supervised unit follows law/ rules

Allows interference if supervised unit acted contrary to law

Over actor and act

There must be a law (DOJ, DBM, DILG, MMDA, COA, DENR, IRA)

Only involves questions of law (declare legal or illegal)


Lays down rules in doing of an act

Impose limitations when there is none imposed by law

Decide for subordinate or change decision

Alter wisdom, law-conforming judgment or exercise of discretion

Discretion to order act undone or re-done

Prescribe manner by which act is done


2. Local Autonomy

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Executive Supervision

Review of Orders and Ordinances

Disciplinary Action

Integration of Plans/ Zoning

Boundary Disputes

Leaves/ Resignation/ Vacancies

Augmentation of Basic Services

Legislative Control


Elective and Appointive Officials



Manner of Selection


IRA/ National Wealth


2. Local Autonomy

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2. Local Autonomy

  • “Paradoxically, local governments are still subject to regulation, however limited, for the purpose of enhancing self-government.”

  • National concern “cannot be subjected to fragmented concepts of management policies where xxx local government units exercise exclusive dominion over specific portions xxx” (National Dimension Rule; Integration/ Centralization)

  • “The Local Government Code xxx directs executive officials and employees of the municipality to faithfully discharge their duties and functions as provided by law.”

2 local autonomy conflict resolution

LGU Triumphed vs.

DENR (ordinance)

DBM (allowance, budget officer)


DENR (oil depots)

DOJ (tax ordinance)

Higher LGU (review)

DAR (reclassify, expropriation)

DILG (barangay liga)



BOI (6-year exemption)

MMDA (subdivision, driver’s licenses, nat’l dumpsite; terminals; review ordinances)

NAPOCOR (voltage cables)

DSWD (devolved personnel)

Congress (IRA, amend Organic Act)

National Victorious vs. LGUs

DENR (forestry laws)

LTO/ LTFRB (licensing)

HLURB (national projects)

COA (additional allowance)

NTC (cable TV franchise)

DAR (conversion)

GAB (jai alai frontons)

LLDA (fishpens, dumpsite)

BCDA (creation of Zone)

PAGCOR (casinos)

PCSO (lotto outlets)

PRC (profession)

LWUA (water districts)

DPWH (city engineer)

CSC (dismissal)

OP (discipline, superintendent)

Congress (jai alai franchise)

2. Local Autonomy (Conflict Resolution)

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In favor of NGA/ GOCC if:



Avoid fragmentation

Mandate exclusive under Charter/ law

Implied repeals not favored

Instrumentalities of the State

since national concerns are best addressed by NGAs/ GOCCs

National Dimension Rule

In favor of LGU if:

Local autonomy

Local concern/ issue

‘Isolated’ issue

No law will be violated

Amounted to control

Beyond powers of NGA/ GOCC

since local concerns are best addressed by LGUs (Principles of Subsidiarity and Stewardship)

Local/ Municipal Dimension Rule

2. Local Autonomy

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Allowed since:

Local autonomy

Agent of People

General welfare


Not violate any law

Areas: Police Power, Power to Tax, Local Legislation, Fiscal Autonomy and Corporate Powers


Not violate Constitution

Not violate laws

Not violate charter

Not mandate of another public corporation

2. Local Autonomy