Governors and mayors are set to discuss further with President Rodrigo R. Duterte their request for the early release of the expanded Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of local government units (LGUs).
As of Wednesday, the local officials’ second meeting with the Chief Executive has been tentatively set for October 28, following their audience with Duterte last October 11.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said 17 mayors and 12 governors attended the last gathering and he hopes they can settle the issue with the national government during the next meeting.
“This, we hope will settle the matter once and for all. If this happens, it will be a bonanza to the local governments,” said Leonardia, who sits as the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP).
Leonardia earlier said Bacolod may get an additional PHP100 million but noted that a new estimate showed the city could get some PHP270 million.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he shares the concern of the other LGUs of being able to get an additional share from the national revenues.
Lacson said the province could receive at least PHP1 billion.
In June this year, the Supreme Court ruled with finality that the IRA share of LGUs must be sourced from all national taxes and not only from national internal revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The decision was based on the petition filed by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas questioning the process of allocating IRA funds for LGUs.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said the higher share would be received by the LGUs in 2022 yet since implementing the expanded IRA now would lead to “unmanageable fiscal deficit.”
Leonardia said the LCP took the lead in bringing its concern before the President to enable the LGUs to receive their bigger share from the national revenues within the year. (Nanette Guadalquiver NDB via PNA)