Powers and Devolved Services of Local Government Units (LGUs)

The most significant devolved services include health, agriculture, environment and natural resources, social services, and public works funded by local funds. Some services in the area of education, tourism, telecommunication services, housing projects, among others, were also devolved.

Basic Services and Facilities Devolved

  • Agricultural extension and on-site research
  • Community-based forestry projects
  • Field health and hospital services and other tertiary health services
  • Public works and infrastructure projects funded out of local funds
  • School building program
  • Social welfare services
  • Tourism facilities and tourism promotion and development
  • Telecommunication services for provinces and cities
  • Housing projects for provinces and cities
  • Other services, e.g., investment support, industrial research and development

Regulatory Powers Devolved

  • Reclassification of agricultural lands
  • Enforcement of environmental laws
  • Inspection of food products
  • Quarantine
  • Enforcement of the National Building Code
  • Operation of tricycles
  • Processing and approval of subdivision plans
  • Establishment of cockpits and holding of cockfights


Enhanced Governmental and Corporate Powers

  • Full autonomy in the exercise of proprietary rights and managements of economic enterprises
  • Authority to secure domestic or foreign grants without need of national government approval
  • Cooperative undertakings among LGUs
  • Exemption from payment of customs duties for imported heavy equipment
  • Authority to extend loans to other LGUs and to provide assistance to calamity-stricken LGUs

Conceptualized by: Dr. Maria Ela Atienza (Professor and Chair), Asst. Prof. Jan Robert Go (Assistant Professor), and Herby Jireh Esmeralda (Research Assistant)


Atienza, Maria Ela. “Local Governments and Devolution in the Philippines.” In Philippine Politics and Governance, edited by Noel Morada and Teresa Encarnacion Tadem, 427-428. Quezon City: Department of Political Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, 2006.

Philippines. The Local Government Code. Republic Act No. 7160. 1991.