Government Press: Implement LGU Tax Sharing Plan
Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR
BATANGAS Governor Hermilando Mandanas has called on the Marcos government to quickly implement the Supreme Court ruling in 2022 that granted local government units (LGUs) a greater share of taxes collected by the national government.
“What they (the Marcos government) should do is implement the SC (Supreme Court) decision. Following the law is very simple,” Mandanas said on a weekly show. SMNI’s Business and Politics” hosted by The Manila Times. Chairman and CEO Dante Francis “Klink” Ang 2nd.
“It is important that we [LGUs] efficiently and effectively provide basic and timely services. If it’s done by a higher authority, they’re so far from the people and they wouldn’t really know who to give it to and who deserves it,” he said.
Under the Mandanas-Garcia decision, the provision of basic services is vested in the LGUs.
In 2013, Mandanas and former Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr., along with other local officials, petitioned the Supreme Court to rule on LGU’s shares in Internal Revenue Allocation (IRA).
Mandanas and Garcia were then members of the House of Representatives.
The court upheld the ruling in 2018, giving LGUs a higher share of all state taxes collected from 2022.
LGUs currently obtain their IRA from 40% of taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The Mandanas-Garcia decision is expected to increase the IRA by 27.61%.
Former President Rodrigo Duterte had issued Executive Order 138, which directs the devolution of certain executive branch functions to LGUs.
Mandanas said the national government has not given LGUs a say in allocating aid for services such as education and social protection.
“So they determine who the aid is to be given to and how it is going to be given. The same goes for health. This has already happened in the distribution of ayuda (financial aid) during the pandemic. “, did he declare.
Mandanas cited the plan to set up barangay (village) health centers as a program that the national government has failed to implement “because they don’t know where to set it up and they don’t know how to do it”.
“You have seen giving fertilizer to Metro Manila, where there is no agriculture. Of course, you also have to consider that we have different climates, different soils, different water supply,” he said. -he declares.
Mandanas noted the principle of subsidiarity that an increasingly larger body should not perform functions that can be performed effectively by an increasingly smaller entity.
“That’s the wisdom of the principle of subsidiarity and the expression of that gives local autonomy. If you don’t follow it, we become ineffective. Magiging magulo (It’s going to be messy),” he said.
He further pointed out that under the current setup, “people who should be getting help are not getting help while those who don’t deserve it are getting it.”
“Other LGUs outside are forgotten. That’s the reason why we have been fighting this for a very long time already, from me since I became governor about 25 years ago already,” Mandanas said.
“There are really functions that can be handled more efficiently by LGUs such as tourism and communications. It is now very important in law that we have our own telecommunications network in the provinces and cities. But for us specifically, these are the basic services that have already been delegated by law. Decentralized,” he said.
“Why should this be done? So that we can include everyone. So that our development is really bottom-up, so that more people are employed,” Mandanas said.
This year, he said, the IRA’s share of local government has increased by 278 billion pesos. “If it is recognized, retroactive and distributed, it will be an increase of around 50 billion pesos,” he stressed.
Mandanas added that tackling the inequality of financial resources between LGUs, improving the capacity of LGUs and enhancing transparency and accountability are key to improving decentralization.
“But what’s important is that it (the Supreme Court decision) be recognized and fully implemented,” he said.