Increase in IRA pushed

A lady lawmaker has filed a bill increasing the local government
units’ (LGUs) share in the national internal revenue taxes from 40
percent to 50 percent to enable them to cope with the mounting costs
of devolved services.

Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd District, Cavite) said House Bill 5399,
which amends Sections 284 and 286 of Republic Act 7160 also known as
the Local Government Code of the Philippines, provides that the LGUs
shall be entitled to 50% share in national tax collections, 30% on the
first year of the effectivity of the code, 35% on the second year and
40% on the fourth year.

In no case shall the allotment be less than 30% of the collection of
national internal revenue of the third fiscal year preceding the
current fiscal year, Mercado-Revilla said.

In addition to the 30% revenue allotment, the LGUs shall receive the
amount equivalent to the cost of devolved personal services,
Mercado-Revilla added.

Mercado-Revilla said in the event that the national government incurs
unmanageable public sector deficit, the President is authorized, upon
the recommendation of Secretaries of the Department of Finance (DOF),
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department
of Budget and Management (DBM), subject to consultation with the
presiding officers of both Houses of Congress and the presidents of
the Liga, to make necessary adjustments in the internal revenue
allotment of the LGUs.

Mercado-Revilla pushed for the immediate approval of the bill saying
it shall promote and enhance local fiscal autonomy, making the LGUs
more dynamic, especially in the area of developing of communities.

“Let us give the LGUs a bigger share in the national tax collections,”
Mercado-Revilla said as she urged her colleagues in the House to
support the revenue sharing scheme.

According to Mercado-Revilla, the LGUs need more funds to effectively
manage hospitals taken over from the national government.

She said the LGUs were not given support for the operations of the
devolved hospitals and the compensation of at least 45,000 health
workers.

As a result, she said the national government, through the Department
of Health, was forced to reassume control of many of these hospitals
to arrest the deterioration of health services.

The automatic release of shares, Revilla-Mercado said, shall be
directly to the provincial, city, municipal or barangay treasurer on a
monthly or quarterly basis within five days after the end of each
month.

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