By Wil Mark Amazona, November 17, 2022; CNN Philippines

Tacloban City (CNN Philippines, November 17) — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will release a new executive order (EO) that seeks to extend the transfer of some national government functions to local units to 2027 from the original 2024.

The new order aims to amend EO 138 or the full devolution of certain functions of the executive branch to the local government units.

According to DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. instructed the agency to draft an amendment to EO 138.

The draft has already been submitted to Marcos, Pangandaman said.

“We presented it to the President two weeks ago, and submitted the EO last week,” Pangandaman told reporters during her visit to Tacloban for the Visayas Area Conference of the Philippine League of Local Budget Officers (PHILLBO) and the launching of the first Regional Knowledge Center of DBM in the country.

“We extended the transition. Instead of full devolution by 2024, we extended it to 2027. Hopefully mapirmahan ng Presidente para makapagsimula ang mga programa [Hopefully the president will sign it so we can start the programs] under the executive order,” Pangandaman said.

Under the existing EO 138 and its implementing rules and regulation, all provinces, cities, and municipalities, including villages, are mandated to craft a devolution transition plan in close coordination with the concerned national government agencies.

Pangandaman did not share other details of the EO as it is still for approval of the President.

Meanwhile, during her speech at the opening of the PHILLBO conference attended by more than 500 local budget officers, budget personnel, and some local chief executives, the DBM head vowed that the agency would assist them as the government continues to push for full devolution.

“Rest assured that the DBM is always ready to assist you, especially as we move towards full devolution,” Pangandaman said.

The DBM chief added that under the proposed budget next year, an allocation of ₱28.9 billion under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), aside from the ₱820.3-billion LGU share from the 2023 national tax collection, is allocated to empower them in delivering the devolved services.