The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday reminded governors, town and city mayors they are not allowed to acquire or use luxury vehicles for their operations.
DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. called on local officials to exercise due prudence when purchasing motor vehicles and observe strict compliance with budgetary, procurement and auditing laws, regulations and standards at all times.
He said the procurement of motor vehicles should be done in the most efficient and economic manner with due consideration on vehicles that are cost-effective, fuel-efficient, environment-friendly, and at par with improvements and developments in the automotive industry and relevant technology.
“Let’s be wise in choosing our vehicle especially since we have not yet recovered from the bad economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We must be an example to our constituents in the prudent use of public funds,” the DILG chief said.
Luxury vehicles include cars with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,500 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; passenger vans or pick-up type vehicles with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders; and multipurpose vehicles and vans with an engine displacement exceeding 2,500 cc, if gasoline-fed or 2,800 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.
Sports utility vehicles are considered luxury vehicles when the engine displacement exceeds 2,700 cc, if gasoline-fed or 3,000 cc if diesel-fed and/or with an engine exceeding four cylinders.
Abalos said like luxury cars, the purchase of secondhand or reconditioned vehicles, except for aircraft and seacraft, regardless of the source of funds and approving authority, is also not allowed.
He encouraged local government units to dedicate a percentage of their vehicular requirements to the purchase of motor vehicles using alternative fuel types such as biofuels, flexi-fuel, natural gas, and solar-power, taking into consideration the sustainability or power supply in the area of operation.
Abalos said local chief executives are allowed to acquire the following motor vehicles and heavy equipment chargeable against their local funds subject to specification limitations: specific-purpose vehicles such as ambulances, patrol and armored vehicles, fire trucks, prisoners’ vans; heavy equipment such as road construction equipment, cargo transport equipment, farm machinery, waste management or environmental sanitation equipment, etc.; locally-assembled, owner or passenger-type jeep; motorized bancas and motorized boats; vehicles for mass transport; motorcycles and tri-wheel vehicles.
“Please bear in mind that all motor vehicles intended to be purchased must not contain a brand name. Likewise, no post-purchase authority shall or could be issued by the department under any circumstances,” he said.
He also said the purchase of assembly vehicles usually of passenger or owner-type jeepneys is allowed only when brand-new vehicles are not available in the locality or if available, the cost is prohibitive due to the distance from the nearest market source; or where an assembled vehicle is deemed more durable as the design and type of parts used are made suitable to the road condition/terrain in the locality such as in remote barangays or municipalities.
The Department of Budget Management (DBM) has allocated P962.2 billion for LGUs nationwide in 2023 to boost their capabilities and enable them to speed up the delivery of basic services.
The 2023 budget plan for LGUs represents around 18.3 percent of the proposed P5.268-trillion national budget for next year, the DBM said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The DBM said around P820.27 of the P962.2 billion would be used for the National Tax Allotment (NTA) shares of LGUs, in accordance with the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court (SC) ruling.
Under the SC ruling, LGUs get a bigger share in the collections of national taxes, as their internal revenue allotment (IRA) should come from 40 percent of all national taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
The IRA share of LGUs, based on the old system, came only from the taxes collected by the BIR.
The implementation of the SC ruling began this year, with the IRA renamed NTA.
On the other hand, about P28.88 billion would be allocated as LGUs’ Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) for 2023, higher by P10.91 billion from the P17.97 billion appropriated in 2022, the DBM said.