"This is the lifeblood of those in the LGU."
One month into governorship, I have seen the weighty task of ensuring that regular funding is available so that the delivery of goods and services are uninterrupted. Fiscal support is also vital for the implementation of local programs and projects.
In 2016, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was able to collect P1.58 trillion as revenue. This results in a P575.52-billion internal revenue allotment for 2019. This amount will be apportioned according to the Local Government Code, and distributed among 82 provinces, 145 cities, 1,478 municipalities, and 41,913 barangays nationwide.
In this context, let me highlight the importance of proper and efficient collection of taxes. Local governments rely heavily on the IRA to fund its local programs. This is particularly true for Quezon province, which needs to maintain its momentum and build on the economic gains of the province in the past years. Quezon is a large and developing province composed of 39 municipalities, an independent City of Tayabas, and a component City of Lucena. Given its vast area and massive population, it is likewise a great responsibility to insure the inclusivity of its programs in the entire province.
In my days as a legislator, and Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means and Committee on Legislative Oversight, the Committees were active in determining the reason for revenue collection shortfall and how ineffective methods of collection that were endemic to the agencies could be addressed. The result of our work is Republic Act 7403, or the Lateral Attrition Law. In broad strokes, the law intends to create incentive for proper tax collection by providing rewards to those agencies that exceed their targets, specifically by distributing a portion of the excess in the collected amounts to be divided among all employees, regardless of rank.
To my knowledge, the Lateral Attrition Law is inactive, despite the advocacy of the House Minority of the 17th Congress to push for its implementation. We believe the law complements the administration’s aim of transparency and accountability in public spending.
Last year, the BIR achieved 96 percent in tax collection with P1.962 trillion. For the past few years, BIR recorded an increasing amount of taxes collected. This notable performance justifies the immediate implementation of the attrition law. I remain firm in putting attrition law into practice among agencies involved in tax collection such as the BIR and the Bureau of Customs. The law will motivate the BIR and BOC to further improve their collections and continue to exceed their targets. From the LGU perspective, achieving and exceeding collection targets result in a bigger share in the IRA.
This is the lifeblood of those in the LGU, and ensures that growth, development and improvement of the general welfare is inclusive.