Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization Region 11

Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization Region 11

Davao Region 11 Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization

This study is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Cooperative Agreement Number AID 492-A-00-09-00031-00. The contents are the responsibility of The Asia Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

More Responsive Local Governments 3 More Responsive Local Governments Ed. B. Prantilla Executive Summary Decentralization has made the local governments more responsive to the needs of their area by passing ordinances to provide development direction, as well as by promoting investments and managing their resources.

Economic activities, however, are generally centered in cities, and cities showed lesser dependence on internal revenue allotment compared to provinces and municipalities. Results of the focused group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) also showed that decentralization weakened the connection between the provincial and municipal governments. A local chief executive (LCE) at the provincial level remarked that the provincial governor has no administrative control over the municipal government. This minimal or lack of administrative control over the municipalities made it difficult to have a unified development direction for the whole province.

A retired regional executive of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said that this is especially true if the governor and the municipal mayors belong to different political parties. Decentralization also made it difficult to attain horizontal consistency among the various municipal development plans and vertical consistency of municipal and provincial development plans. This is because a municipal development plan may be formulated independent of other plans in that local government unit (LGU), even as municipal development plans may also be formulated independent of the provincial development plans.

Devolution has affected significantly the operations of the agriculture office at all levels in the region. First, the link between the province and the municipal agriculture offices has been weakened with the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 7160. Decentralization has also removed the administrative supervision of the provincial agricultureofficeonthemunicipalagricultureoffices. Indeed,onemunicipalagriculture official said that under the present set-up they could ignore the provincial agriculture office. Second, decentralization has caused the fragmentation of agriculture programs and projects, that is, the municipalities could pursue different programs and projects based on their own priorities.

Third, the research and extension functions of the local agriculture offices are now practically dependent on the priorities of the LCE. Thus, in one province, agricultural research has practically ceased while in another it is active. The same is true with agricultural extension. Because of the logistical support that agricultural extension requires, the absence of funding support for transportation and

Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: Region 11 4 supplies and materials will practically bring the program to a standby mode. Fourth, devolution has brought frustrations to the devolved personnel of the Department of Agriculture (DA), especially those in-low income municipalities. This is not only because their remuneration has remained stagnant over the years, they also have to discharge the same functions with less funding support. Yet, it should be stressed that in spite of such problems, considerable achievements have been registered by the provincial/city/municipal agricultural offices on local development.

Thus, in Davao del Norte, the research conducted by the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) resulted in the establishment of planting seasons for crops to minimize the incidence of pest and diseases and as a consequence lowered the use of agricultural chemicals. The support given by PAGRO to farmers also resulted in two GAWAD SAKA (annual search for outstanding achievement in agriculture) winners. PAGRO has used the GAWAD SAKA winners as partners in disseminating modern farming technology to farmers.

At the municipal level, the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAGRO) of Sta. Cruz spearheaded replanting and rehabilitation of the town’s mangroves in collaboration with students and civil society organizations (CSOs). In Mati City, the City Agriculture Office (CAGRO) is the lead organization of the reforestation of the mayor’s upland area project to combat global warming. In addition, the agricultural production programs at the local level are invariably implemented to support the nutrition program of the local governments. It is interesting to note that another devolved agency, such as health, is not encountering the same problems faced by agriculture.

The available quantitative data could not provide a definite answer to the question of whether decentralization or RA 7160 has improved the welfare of the people at the local level. There are evidences, of course, that availability of services has improved. Thus, the percentage of households with access to safe water has increased considerably, and solid-waste management has improved. Available data on incidence of poverty at both the provincial and the municipal/city level, though, showed no significant improvement. Introduction The study covers three provinces of Davao Region, namely: Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental; three component cities, and six municipalities.

The three component cities are: Digos City in Davao del Sur, Tagum City in Davao del Norte, and Mati City in Davao Oriental. The six municipalities are: Sta. Cruz and Don Mariano in Davao del Sur; Asuncion and Carmen in Davao del Norte, and Caraga and San Isidro in Davao Oriental. The three component cities are the largest urban centers and a major location of commerce and industry of the provinces surveyed. The six municipalities, on the other hand, were selected to provide a range of locally generated revenues of local government units and may provide an indication on the

More Responsive Local Governments 5 implementation of RA 7160 under varying levels of local government revenues and incidence of poverty. Of the six municipalities, Don Marcelino and San Isidro are categorized as third class municipalities, the rest are first class municipalities.1 The socio-demographic profile of the local government units covered by the study is presented in Table 1. Among the three provinces, Davao del Norte has the smallest land area. This is the result of the division of the original Davao del Norte province into two, namely: the present Davao del Norte and the newly created Compostela Valley Province.

The province with the largest area is Davao Oriental. Among the three component cities, Mati City has the largest land area with 682 sq. km., followed by Digos City with 318 sq. km. and Tagum City with 196 sq. km. The land area of the six municipalities, on the other hand, ranged from 187 sq. km. (Asuncion) to 554 sq. km. (Caraga). In 2007, the most highly populated province is Davao del Norte followed closely by Davao del Sur and the least populated is Davao Oriental. Among the three component cities, Tagum City’s population in 2007 was 215,967 followed by Digos City with 145,514 and Mati City with 122,046.

Among the municipalities covered by the study, Sta. Cruz has the highest population with 76,113, while the least populated is San Isidro with 32,139 (Table 1).

Table 1: Socio-demographic profile of local government units covered by the study Province/City/ Municipality Land Area (sq.km) Popula- tion Aug. 1, 2007 Annual Population Growth Rate, 2000-2007 (%) Poverty Inci- dence, 2003 (% popu- lation) Locally Gener- ated Revenue (mil. PhP) 2008 Internal Revenue Allotment (mil. PhP), 2008 Davao del Sur 3,934 822,406 1.15 28.9 52.31 636.80 Davao del Norte 3,463 847,440 1.86 36.8 111.35 595.27 Davao Oriental 5,164 486,104 1.22 47.9 48.87 569.18 Digos City 318 145,514 2.15 18.2 123.77 286.97 Tagum City 196 215,967 2.64 15.4 283.08 323.02 Mati City 682 122,046 2.03 32.1 83.75 388.13 Sta.

Cruz, DS 335 76,113 2.40 28.7 35.25 84.55 Don Marcelino, DS 449 35,166 0.07 80.7 2.03 53.29 Asuncion, DN 187 50,731 - 2.49 44.9 10.475 68.127 Carmen, DN 278 61,656 1.59 32.1 25.72 64.63 Caraga, DO 554 34,278 0.03 57.3 1.48 63.96 San Isidro, DO 205 32,139 0.02 44.6 5.84 44.41 Sources of Data: NSCB, 2004 and 2008 Philippine Statistical Yearbook NSCB, 2003 Small Area Poverty Incidence Estimates NSO, 2007 Census of Population Bureau of Local Government Finance, Davao City 1 NSCB, 2009 Regional Social and Economic Trends, Davao Region, Davao City.

Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: Region 11 6 Data on the locally generated revenues of local government units in 2008 showed that among the three Davao provinces, the locally generated revenues of Davao del Norte is highest at P111.35 million, while Davao Oriental registered the lowest with P48.87 million. Among the three (3) component cities, Tagum City registered the highest locally generated revenue with P283.08 million followed by Digos City with P123.77 million and lowest was exhibited by Mati City with P83.75 million. Among the municipalities included in the study, Caraga has the lowest locally generated revenue in 2008 with only P1.48 million followed closely by Don Marcelino with P2.03 million, while the highest locally generated revenue was registered by Sta.

Cruz with P35.25 million. The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) small areas poverty incidence estimates of 2003 revealed that Don Marcelino has the highest poverty incidence with 80.7 percent of its municipal population below the poverty line. The lowest poverty incidence among the municipalities covered by the study is found in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur with 28.7 percent of its 2003 population below the poverty threshold. Among the three cities covered by the study, Tagum City has the lowest poverty incidence with 15.4 percent, the highest is found in Mati City with 32.1 percent, while among the three provinces, Davao del Sur has the lowest poverty incidence with 28.9 percent, the highest is in Davao Oriental with 47.9 percent (Table 1).

RESULTS OF DECENTRALIZATION I. Local Governance and Administration Governancehasbeenvariouslydefinedbyvariousorganizations. TheAsianDevelopment Bank (ADB) defined governance as “the sound exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a country’s resources for development. It involves the institutionalization of a system through which citizens, institutions, organizations, and groups in a society articulate their interests, exercise their rights, and mediate their differences in pursuant of a collective good.”2 Similarly, World Bank defined governance as “the manner by which public officials and institutions acquire and exercise the authority to shape public policy and provide public goods and services.”3 Local Government Ordinances The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Sangguniang Panlunsod and the Sangguniang Bayan passed ordinances to manage the province/city/municipality’s resources and regulate activities within the province/city/municipality.

Information collected from the office of the legislative secretary of provinces, cities, and municipalities covered by the study 2 Asian Development Bank (1995), Governance: Sound Development Management, Manila: ADB. 3 World Bank (2007), “Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anti-Corruption”, http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/comment/governancefeedback/ gacpaper-03212007.pdf, see also: World Bank (1992), “Governance and Development”, Washington, D.C.: World Bank for an earlier definition of governance by World Bank.

More Responsive Local Governments 7 showed that these ordinances vary in scope according to the level of local government. The number of ordinances passed by the local government unit also appeared to be related to the income class of local government unit. Thus, the legislative body of a province or a component city or a 1st class municipality passes more ordinances compared to a 3rd or 4th class municipality. The subject of these ordinances range from purely local concerns to the localization of national laws. Table 2 presents a summary of the ordinances passed by the local governments covered by the study.

It should be noted that the subjects of ordinances listed by province/ city/ municipalities are not exhaustive.

The role of the province could be discerned from the ordinances it approves. Among others, the Provincial Government reviews the development plans, annual investment plans, ordinances, and resolutions passed by municipalities and component cities. The review appears to be limited to determining whether the ordinance or resolution is within the powers of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or the Sangguniang Bayan4 . It is noted, however, that in the case of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and Zoning and Zoning Ordinance, the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) is consulted to ensure that the CLUP and the Zoning Ordinance conform to HLURB requirements.

A survey of the ordinances passed by the cities and municipalities revealed that these local government units are focused on, among others, providing development direction for their area (e.g. approving comprehensive development plans, land use plans, and zoning ordinances), consolidating and expanding their capacity to generate local revenues (e.g. approving tax revenue codes), promoting local investments (e.g. approving investment incentive codes), and development, conservation, and management of fisheries and aquatic resources. In addition, the component cities and municipalities also formulated and passed ordinances that control specific activities within their jurisdiction, such as regulating the sale of fish and fish products; iron fortification of rice sold in their area; regulating the sale of certain drugs; curfew hours for minors, entry of agricultural products, quarantine of infectious diseases and infected persons, guidelines for the operation of public markets, and regulating the fares of tricycles.

By and large, it could be concluded that the respondent LGUs are proficient in passing ordinances to effectively respond to the problems confronting them and to provide development direction for the local economy. 4 See: Section 56(b) of the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160).

Rapid Field Appraisal of Decentralization: Region 11 8 Table 2: Summary of major subjects of ordinances passed by provinces, component cities and municipalities (1992 to 2010) Local Government Level Major Subjects Covered by Ordinances Passed Provinces Reviewing City and Municipal Comprehensive Development Plans (CDP); Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP); Solid Waste Management (SWM) Plans; Annual Investment Plans (AIP); Realignment of funds; Environmental Ordinances of Municipalities; Rules and Regulation on Mining Activities; Annual Budgets of Municipalities; Supplementary Budgets; Provincial Investment Code; Project Proposals, and Settlement of Boundary Disputes among Municipalities.

Approval of provincial development plans, annual budgets and annual investment plans. Component Cities Approval of: Comprehensive Development Plan; Comprehensive Land Use Plan; Solid Wastes Management Plan, Investment Incentive Code; Tax Revenue Code; City Services Handbook; Children Welfare Code (Digos City); Dog Welfare Code (Digos City); Code on Economic Enterprises; Fishing Ordinance; Zoning Ordinance; Fishery Ordinance (Digos City); Reclassification of land; Land conversion; Regulation of fares of tricycles; Public market regulation, Sanitary Regulations; Creation/Establishment of Offices; Health Ordinance (rabies control, prevention and control of STI/HIV/AIDS); curfew ordinances; business regulations; literacy and other education programs (Tagum City); environmental protection; health and sanitation; traffic and transport regulations, etc.

Municipalities Adoption of national laws, e.g. RA 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007), and RA 9178 (Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002); Adopting RA 7875 as amended by RA 9241 (National Health Insurance Program, Asuncion); Approving the Municipal Comprehensive Land Use Plan; Solid Waste Management Plan; Municipal Revenue Code; Investment Incentive Code; Sanitation Code (Carmen); Cemetery Code (Carmen); Water Works Code (Asuncion); Regulation of Fishing (Carmen); Regulation of the Production of Cavendish Banana (Carmen); Operation of Public Markets; Creation of Offices/Councils; regulation of quarrying and mining; curfew for minors and adults (Don Marcelino); prohibiting sale of firecrackers; regulating fishing in municipal waters (Carmen); banning the burning of rice straw; food fortification (Carmen); and land reclassification Inter-local Government Relation This study used the term inter-local government relation to describe the relationship between the province and the municipalities, and among the municipalities with regards to programs and projects, and the relationship between the provincial level offices of devolved agencies with their municipal counterparts.

More Responsive Local Governments 9 Provincial and municipal governments. A close working relationship between LGUs is necessary because the implementation of certain development programs and projects are facilitated by teamwork and collaboration among local governments units. Examples of development programs/projects that require coordination and collaboration among LGUs include the protection and conservation of vital watersheds covering two or more municipalities, protection of common aquifer recharge areas or the protection of recharge area located in another municipality, development of common sanitary landfill, ensuring food self-sufficiency for the whole province, protection and conservation of common fishing grounds, road network system that traverse different municipalities, and many more.

Traditionally, the body that coordinates the planning and implementation of programs and projects is the Provincial Government. Under RA 7160, the Provincial Government supervision on the municipal governments is weak. In fact, a respondent provincial governor said that it is difficult to integrate the development plans of the municipalities under RA 7160 when the provincial government has no administrative supervisory powers over the municipalities. A retired regional executive of DILG also said that formulating a unified development direction for the province will be difficult if the governor and some of the mayors belong to different political parties.

Coordination of development programs and projects is also facilitated if there is an overall framework plan from which the city/municipal development plans follow. In other words, there are common priority areas agreed upon by the provincial and municipal/city governments. In addition, coordination is stronger if the coordinator has some control over the budget. Unfortunately, these two factors may not be present at the local level. For example, municipal governments may have different priorities which the provincial government has no power to change, and although the Provincial Legislative Body has the mandate to review the annual investment plans of municipalities and component cities, it has no power over their budgets.

Relation between devolved agencies at the provincial and municipal level. Although the effects of decentralization among the devolved agencies vary, the consensus is that the change brought by decentralization, particularly in agriculture, is not always positive. A key informant at the provincial level remarked that the most significant change brought about by RA 7160 in agriculture is that the relationship between the provincial and municipal agricultural offices has become weak. Under RA 7160, the province has no supervisory powers on the municipal agriculture offices; the feedback mechanism is thus anemic and has no continuity with the pre-RA 7160 set-up.

This observation was validated by the municipal agriculture office (MAGRO) informants who said that they could not be forced to follow the provincial agriculture office (PAGRO). In fact, the same informants said that the MAGROs could even ignore the PAGRO under certain condition, for instance, if there is a conflict of priorities between the province and the municipality, the MAGROs are likely to follow the priorities of the municipality. This is because the MAGROs are responsible to the LCE and not to the PAGRO.

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