the term local government refers to a political subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs, with officials elected or otherwise selected, (De Leon, Hector, 2005). The broad scope of powers and tremendous obligations of the national government to the people has made it impossible for the national government to fully implement and enforce the law and solve the problems of the state. The creation of local governments has eased the load of responsibilities that are within the jurisdiction of the central government. According to Alexis De Tocqueville, “a nation may establish a system of government but without the spirit of municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty.” This statement exemplifies the importance of local government. Through local government, people can easily participate in the political process, and it is also a training ground for leadership.
Importance of local government
• Viable organs for the performance of local functions • Extension of the national government • Easy access of people in the affairs of the state
Status of local government
• Local governments are political bodies • Agents of the state Territorial and political subdivisions of the Philippines
1. Provinces 2. Cities 3. Municipalities 4. Barangays 5. Autonomous Regions for Muslim Mindanao and for the Cordilleras Dual status of local governments
1. As political bodies corporate – local government is considered a chartered entity and contracted partnership of the state. They posses dual character: a. In their public or governmental aspect - they are agents of the state and have delegated the power to impose and collect taxes, preservation of peace and order and establishments of social services such as schools. b. In their private or corporate aspect – they are mere legal entities similar to a business corporation performing functions not strictly governmental. 2. Underlying test – the underlying test is whether the act of the local government is done for the common good or for the special benefit or profit of the corporate entity. If the act is for the common good, it cannot be sued, for the second it can be sued.
Corporate powers of local government
Local government units shall have the following powers:
1. To have continuous succession in its corporate name
2. To sue and be sued
3. To have and use corporate seal
4. To acquire and convey real or personal property
5. To enter into contracts
Meaning of local autonomy
Under statutory provisions of their creation, local governments are allowed to exercise certain basic powers i.e. police power, power of eminent domain, and taxing power.
Some of the powers possessed by the national government are transferred to the local government. Local governments can be effective in their operation when vested with some powers for the necessity of their operation. Decentralization is act of the central government to transfer basic powers to local government units.
Why is autonomy important for local government units?
A political entity that does not have control of the operation within the political jurisdiction cannot function well, so autonomy is a necessity for local government units to ensure their fullest development.
1. Importance of local solutions to local problems
2. Need for orderly management of local affairs
3. Desirability of self-reliance
4. Need for fullest development of local governments
5. Innate desire for self-government
Mechanisms of recall, initiative and referendum
People who comprised the local government are granted some legal mechanisms to remove erring local government officials, to question an ordinance or law that may not be beneficial for the interest of the populace and may be...