Section 15 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code, defines a local government unit as a body politic and corporate endowed with powers to be exercised by it in conformity with law. As such, it performs dual functions, governmental and proprietary. Governmental functions are those that concern the health, safety and the advancement of the public good or welfare as affecting the public generally. Proprietary functions are those that seek to obtain special corporate benefits or earn pecuniary profit and intended for private advantage and benefit. When exercising governmental powers and performing governmental duties, an LGU is an agency of the national government. When engaged in corporate activities, it acts as an agent of the community in the administration of local affairs.
Found in Section 16 of the Local Government Code is the duty of the LGUs to promote the people’s right to a balanced ecology.