Is it time to amend the Local Government Code?
The 1987 Constitution (Art. X, Sec. 6) clearly states that “LGUs shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them.” This is the main principle that should guide the LGCode review.
When it was passed in 1991, it limited LGUs’ IRA share from the internal revenue taxes collected by BIR and explicitly left out LGUs’ rightful share from external revenue taxes collected by BOC. Customs duties comprise about 35% of the “National” taxes, so that’s just about how much LGUs are not getting a just share from.
By the way, I heard and validated that there are groups lurking around offering loans to LGUs assuring them that they can repay such loans from their fair share from customs duties. LGUs beware!
Rest assured that the top priority of the Leagues is an increased LGUs’ share! We will seek for more effective fiscal policies that will empower LGUs to attain fiscal autonomy to become self-reliant communities.
I have been regularly representing ULAP and LPP in the meetings called by the Senate Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Edgardo Angara on the LGCode amendments. He created three separate TWGs to simultaneously discuss Books I, II and III. We recommended that ULAP and at least all the four LGU Leagues representing the provinces (LPP), cities (LCP), municipalities (LMP) and barangays (LnB) should all be duly represented in all groups.
After all, the opinions and recommendations of our local officials, who have been at the forefront implementing the LGCode, must be heard as they have a first-hand knowledge and experience in pointing out its flaws to ensure full decentralization to enable LGUs to immediately respond to the increasing demands of their growing population.
It’s time to Mend the Code -- for real this time!