Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, has taken up the cudgels for the Local Government Units (LGU's) with the looming 4.8% reduction of their IRA's based on the National Government's collection 3 years previous.
During today's DILG budget hearing, Senator Marcos was adamant in finding ways to restore the 4.8% reduction as he addressed Secretary Robredo stating that, "we should first try to restore the 4.8% of the IRA allowances."
He further added that, "we hear many pronouncements about how much savings this government has and the trillions stashed away somewhere that we should be able to access. I think if we look hard enough we can find P13.3 billion (equivalent of the 4.8% reduction) amongst that savings."
Marcos pointed out that in the face of an increase in the budget by 20%, a portion of that should find its way to restoring the 4.8% reduction in the LGU's IRA because "how can we expect the LGUs to provide the services and contribute to public investments to the local economies and the economies in the countryside if we are reducing all of their funding."
The Senator, while acknowledging the attention paid to this problem with the LGUs, said that he will continue to ensure that the LGU's will not be forgotten in this budget and he will relentlessly bat for more funds for the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays until he is satisfied "para hindi mahirapan masyado ang ating mga LGU officials."