Philippine Local Government Unit – As Defined by a Novice

A Local Government Unit could be defined in many ways- as a political subdivision (de Guzman and Tapales, 1973), a municipal corporation (Martin, 1970) and for some, in terms of geographical area. A scholar or a college student may appreciate and recognize this variety of definitions but if a novice would read an article about an LGU, she/he could have not understood the whole picture of the story. Hence, what is important for that person to fully comprehend the meaning of the story is for her/him to know the requisites of an LGU. This article, although short, could tell us a lot about a Local Government Unit.

First, an LGU, obviously, must have a name. A name signifies the existence of a place, if it has a name, then it exists. Second, an LGU has inhabitants. What good is a place, if there are no one to take care of it? Third, an LGU has a place or territory. The fact that there is a name, follows that there is a territory for its sole purpose. Fourth, an LGU has legislative powers. The passing of an ordinance like ‘Integrated Environment Code’ of Angeles City, means that the said city has legislative powers. In a nutshell, the requisites of an LGU include having a name, inhabitants, place or territory and legislative power.

Local government also has levels. For example, in the Philippines, Roxas City is in the province of Capiz, and Roxas City has about 22 barangays. Upon reading of other resources, there are five levels of local government; the barangay, municipality, city, province and region. Although most powers were devolved to LGUs upon passing of the Decentralization Act, it is still apparent that there is an existence of a relationship between a local government and the national government. We must not forget that LGUs are still dependent on their (IRA) internal revenue allotment, distributed by the national government. Hence, it follows that the city is a political subdivision of national government.Following this, the article tells us a little about where do the local government get funds for its projects and payables for its duties. The answer is from the IRA or internal revenue allotment.

Lastly, aside from the requisites and the nature of Local Government Units, there are many functions that has been devolved to LGU. For example, in a certain province where the main issue was the waste segregation, it is therefore the duty of the city to provide ordinances and programs for proper waste management which also includes the responsibility of dealing with waste collection.

Despite of this knowledge about Local Government Unit, one must also know that the performance of an LGU does not only lie on its officials, but mostly to the residents, who must follow the laws and participate the implemented programs- this fact doesn’t only go to the novice, but to all kinds of people as well.