Empowered LGUs seen with Duterte presidency

>> Friday, June 3, 2016

By Dexter A. See

BAGUIO CITY -- Local government units (LGUs) will be guaranteed better benefits and privileges under presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration because he is aware of predicament of local officials having been a local chief executive for several decades, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said here last week.
Under Republic Act 6160, 60 percent of the country’s revenues will accrue to the national government while 40 percent will be equitably shared by local governments.
During the previous Congresses, Domogan, who was a member of the 12th, 13th and 14th Congresses, said there were a number of proposals filed by various lawmakers proposing for the reversal of the 60-40 IRS sharing scheme or at least a 50-50 sharing of the IRA but the same was never given priority due to the stiff opposition of the national government.
“We are optimistic that the various amendments to the antiquated provisions of the Local government code, especially in the decentralization of additional powers, the provision of funding for the devolved national government workers and functions, increase in the share of LGUs from generated resources in the areas of jurisdiction of the local governments among others will gain headway and be subsequently realized because President-elect Duterte knows the needs of local governments and wants such needs to be effectively and efficiently addressed,” Domogan stressed.
Despite Davao being the largest city in the world, Domogan said Duterte experienced difficulty of having much concentration of power in the central government that is why one of his priority concerns will be the adoption of the federal form of government wherein most of the powers of the national government will be equitably distributed to the various federal states that will be created.
However, he said change in the form of government will entail the amendment of the 1987 Constitution through a constituent assembly, constitutional convention among other available options prescribed in the fundamental law of the land.
He said it is the local officials who are aware of the priority needs of people living within their areas of jurisdiction that is why more funds, especially the unspent portions of the national budget amounting to P500 to P700 billion annually, should be equitably shared by the over 42,000 barangays, 83 provinces, 1,490 municipalities and 143 cities to fund other priority development projects that cannot be funded by their respective budgets for insufficient resources.

Domogan said the budget reform advocacy for village empowerment (BRAVE) headed by Senator-elect PanfiloLacson for utilization of unspent portions of the annual national budget for equitable sharing of local governments must also be enacted into law to spur the country’s development.


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