The League of Provinces of the Philippines has squarely backed the senatorial bid of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, citing her “no non-sense performance in public service and governance as champion for the improvement of the lives of Filipinos, especially those in the countryside.”
Marcos is advocating for the unconditional and automatic release of the 40 percent share of all national taxes of local government units.
In a resolution released recently, the LPP describes Marcos as “an efficient and effective local public official” who can immensely contribute in realizing the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte to build a stronger and more progressive republic.
The LPP, which gathers all governors from the 81 provinces across the country, expressed confidence that Marcos will “bring to the Senate the concerns of local governments and local government officials to reinforce local autonomy and ensure local development.”
Marcos, who committed to become the voice of LGUs in the Senate, is batting for the immediate release of the 40% mandated “just share” of LGUS of Internal Revenue Allotments—computed on the basis of all national taxes collected and not just from national internal revenue taxes.
She lamented that LGUs have only been receiving 16 percent of their national taxes share instead of 40 percent.
“That is really insufficient. As a candidate coming from the ranks of local government officials, I know what local executives feel—the issues that are closest to their hearts. Our budget is sorely lacking when in fact we are at the frontline when it comes to delivering services to our constituents,” the governor said.
“There is already a Supreme Court ruling on the 40 percent IRA share of LGUs. But in reality, Customs duties, excise tax, documentary tax and stamp tax – all these are removed from the computation of the IRA,” she added.
Marcos said that the IRA share of LGUs must be released automatically without need of yearly appropriations.
“When our kababayans have problems, who do they run to? They go to us local government officials. So we must help our LGUs by ensuring they receive their ‘just share,’” Marcos said.
“More than 50% of the poor are also in the countryside and the LGUs are our front liners in the fight against poverty. They need all the resources they can muster to address the problem of poverty in the rural areas,” she added.
In July last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the “just share” of LGUs must be based on all national taxes.
The decision stemmed from a petition filed by former Batangas Rep. and now provincial Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, who claimed that from 1992 to 2012, unreleased IRA had reached P500 billion.
However, the SC ruled the implementation of higher IRA is prospective and not retroactive.
The SC decision included six more tax sources for LGUs, namely tariff and customs duties collected by the Bureau of Customs; 50 percent of value-added taxes; 30 percent of all national taxes collected in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; 60 percent of national taxes collected from mining; excise taxes collected from tobacco products; national taxes collected under Section 283 of National Internal Revenue Code; and franchise taxes under Horse Racing laws.
Marcos is running on a platform of offering concrete solutions to the problems besetting the country, including soaring prices of basic goods and the unabated smuggling and over-importation of agricultural products that has been killing the livelihood of ordinary farmers.