Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. on Thursday called for increased funding for local government units, as well as greater coordination between the national government and LGUs in policy-making and implementation.
Marcos, Chairman of the Committee on Local Government, made this appeal in his speech at the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Visayas Cluster Conference held at Sarabia Hotel in Iloilo City.
The senator said that he has been working to amend the Local Government Code to increase the Internal Revenue Allotment share of LGUs to an even 50-50 sharing from the current 40-50 in favor of the national government.
In addition, Marcos said he has been advocating for the revision for the calculation of the IRA share of LGUs, which is currently based only on the collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
“In my view, this should be based on all the national internal revenue collections, which includes other taxes such as the Value Added Tax (VAT),” Marcos said, adding that he supported a case filed before the Supreme Court on this issue.
If this is done, it would add an estimated P92 billion in the total IRA share of all local governments in the country, he said.
“Apart from increasing funding, increasing the IRA of local government units, there must also be closer coordination between the national government and local government when it comes to policy,” Marcos stressed.
He said he has heard many complaints from local officials of lack of consultation with them, for example, in the implementation of projects initiated by the national government.
“That is why we see bridges constructed in the wrong place, or road widening projects where they are not actually needed,” he noted.
He said the next administration must address this issue through increased consultation with local government officials who know the unique problems and needs of their respective municipalities better.
“If we are going to really focus our efforts to making the lives of our people better we have to go to the grassroots level. In my view, it is important,” Marcos said