THE Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will augment the revenue resource-based operational capability of municipal local government units (LGUs).
Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the BARMM Ministry of the Interior and Local Governments said some of the region’s municipalities had not been allocated with Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) since their creation under the now- defunct ARMM.
Governor Abdulraof Macacua of the newly created Maguindanao del Norte province has welcomed the launch of REAL (Revenue Enhancement Assistance for Local Government Units) in two of the province’s 12 municipalities, saying the design and implementation of the REAL program was very timely especially for the “IRA-less” municipalities.
It can be recalled that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2008 had disapproved the IRA budgetary allocations for municipalities created under the ARMM. Those towns have since been known in the region as the “IRA-less” municipalities.
Sinarimbo said the MILG-BARMM has launched its Revenue Enhancement Assistance for Local Government Units (REAL) Program which is being piloted in Sultan Mastura, Buldon and Datu Blah Sinsuat, both in Maguindanao del Norte, and Pualas and Binidayan in Lanao del Sur.
He said REAL will have a budget allocation component to augment for some basic programs commitment of the national government to the communities, and second for capability building for specific LGU officials.
The region’s legal team had said the so-called Mandanas ruling by the Supreme Court on the proper computation of LGUs’ IRA allotments will significantly reduce the national government’s share of financial resources for local development programs—and thus the need to offset the resources diminishing in effect.
Sinarimbo said implementing the REAL program in these local government units will each be covered by a memorandum of agreement which was signed Monday between MILG-BARMM and the LGU concerned.
In effect, Sinarimbo said the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the case of Mandanas-Garcia vs. Ochoa, colloquially known as the “Mandanas Ruling,” will significantly reduce financial resources of the national government to fund programs aimed at reducing poverty, spending on infrastructure, promoting human capital development, and in pursuit of stable peace and order.