Sen. Bongbong briefed on LGC review; supports DILG’s transparency in the process

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Officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) gave Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. a briefing on the ongoing review of the Local Government Code of 1991 (LGC) on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Led by Undersecretary Austere Panadero, the officials explained to Sen. Bongbong, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, the scope and overall direction of the review.

The Senator earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 642, calling for a Senate comprehensive mandatory review of the Local Government Code of 1991, or the Republic Act 7160.

He said one of the goals of his proposal is to determine whether the law, after 23 years, needs to be adjusted to make it attuned to the present changing situation and perceived expanded needs of local government units (LGUs).

In line with this, the DILG review is focused on examining the LGU expenditure assignments, revenue assignment and taxing powers, inter-governmental fiscal transfers, LGU borrowing and credit finance, creation of LGUs, inter-LGU alliances, and fiscal administration.

Last February, the Development Bank of the Philippines announced it had approved a $250-million loan for the review of the LGC to be spearheaded by the government.

According to the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan, LGUs can contribute significantly to attaining inclusive growth and poverty reduction by improving local delivery of service, asserting greater revenue autonomy, and strengthening fiscal governance.

Sen. Bongbong welcomed the DILG undertaking as he expressed support to the agency’s intention to be transparent in the process.

“In the interest of transparency, because that’s important, we are not going to hide anything. I would suggest that we should have regular reports or releases or memorandum as to what’s going on, what is being talked about,” he said.

He added, “The transparency aspect of it, I’m absolutely in agreement. So let’s make our report or releases (to the media) very often.”

Sen. Bongbong also proposed that the panel conducting the review should look into the coordination between the national government and LGUs regarding policies.

“I think that is one of the important things that should be included in the topics for review. Meaning, how to synchronize local government policy to national government policy,” he said.

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