MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- Out of 18 municipalities and one city in the province, 10 municipalities got a share of the growth equity fund (GEF) to finance their priority projects, according to Jhonel Anavesa, DILG assistant provincial director for operations.

In a recent guesting at the Kapihan sa PIA radio program over DYDM, Anavesa identified the 10 GEF-recipient local government units as Anahawan, Hinundayan, Libagon, Limasawa, Padre Burgos, Pintuyan, San Francisco, San Juan, San Ricardo, and Tomas Oppus.

Anavesa said GEF was covered in the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to assist LGUs in catching up with developments under the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, although most of them were still given time for adjustments rather than the start of year one in the actual implementation which is supposed to be this year.

Most of the listed priority projects were on infrastructure and social services, such as access roads and water supply, the amount depending on the need of the LGU, Anavesa reported.

He said the GEF, which is released by the budget department, was a scheme to help these LGUs comply with Executive Order 138 of then President Rodrigo Duterte, which transferred functions of some national line agencies in accordance with the Mandanas-Garica ruling of the Supreme Court.

It can be recalled that the country’s highest legal court granted in 2018 and reaffirmed in 2019 the petitions of Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr.

The Court had said that the LGUs’ share in revenues should come from 40% of the collection of all national taxes — the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) tax take, as well as the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) collections of import duties and other taxes. (MMP/PIA8-Southern Leyte)