Tuesday, 29 June 2010

PGMA is “most LGU-friendly President” – says head of governors’ league


Outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was hailed as the most LGU-friendly (local government unit-friendly) Chief Executive on account of her policies that infused massive government funds --specifically the so-called internal revenue allotments or IRA -- directly to the countryside.

In statements aired today, Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, secretary general of the 80-member League of Governors of the Philippines, also praised President Arroyo’s consultative approach towards LGUs during her rural visits that firmed up national support to the local governments.

Evardone, outgoing governor and the congressman-elect of the province, said IRA releases during the Arroyo years have been noted to be substantial and delivered with ease without delay to the LGUs because of the move in 2006 of the President to consider as automatic appropriations the IRA and other funds due to the local governments. The automatic process was facilitated by the transfer to the municipal finance corporations of all projects assistance to the LGUs.

Evardone said that the automatic or direct mode of releases to LGUs and the yearly increasing IRA due to the corresponding increase in annual national revenues, provided enormous and unprecedented amounts of human capital for the countryside.

IRA is the share of local governments from the national tax collections.

A law—Rep. Act 7160 or the Local Government Code -- mandates that 40 percent of the yearly tax revenues would go to the LGUs, with the remaining 60 percent to the national government.

The IRA in turn is apportioned by the LGU, with 20 percent for barangays, 34 percent for municipalities, 23 for cities and 23 percent for provinces.

Government sources said that the IRA share of LGUs is about one-fifth of the P1.414 trillion national budget for fiscal year 2009.

This was a far cry from the IRA share of LGUs in the years preceding the enactment of the landmark Code – P2.58 billion on 1987, P3.33 billion in 1988, P4.23 billion in 19898 and P7.50 billion in 1990.

“President Arroyo also made it a point to consult the LGUs over major policy issues through constant dialogues and actual visits, even to remote barangays, Evardone said.

“Her being pro-LGU would be a tough act to follow,” added Evardone. (PND)

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