Sen. Bongbong Marcos Urges Palace to Restore 4.8% IRA Cuts; Fears Poor Economic Year-End Growth

8 September 2011

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr, chairman of the Senate committee on local government, urged Malacanang to restore the 4.8 percent reduction of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for Local Guvernment Unit’s to avert poor economic year-end growth.

“The fiscal crisis LGU's are facing in light of the reduction in their IRA by 4.8% and the expected lackluster performance of the country's economy by year end is now further threatened by a looming world recession,” Marcos said.

He added that the abrupt plunge of the Philippine Stock Exchange index last Friday is evidence of the prognosis of investors of a downtrend in the global economy. It was the worst single day performance experienced by the Exchange in three years.
Marcos has expressed his strong support for LGU officials unhappy about the announced reduction of the IRA by as much as 4.8%.

“I have been exhorting our national government to restore the 4.8% reduction in the LGU's IRA to avert a crisis that will see a shortage in the basic services expected from local governments. The 20% increase in the new budget and the administration's much touted savings should all the more compel them to assist the LGU's fiscal predicament that foretells of greater suffering for our people particularly those in the countryside, if left unassisted.” Marcos explained

“I am also looking into the alleged shortfall in IRA that was supposedly due the LGU's but unremitted to this day because of miscomputations in the gross internal revenue collections since 1992 amounting to P500B, according to Bataan Governor Tet Garcia,” the senator revealed.

But regardless of whether the claim of Governor Garcia is valid or not, Marcos emphasized that the government cannot ignore the plight of the LGU's in the coming year and should prioritize their much needed funds that will affect millions of people dependent on basic services provided by provincial and city governments.

Marcos said that, as a former governor of Ilocos Norte for nine years, he understands the predicament the LGU’s face with the looming reduction in their IRA.