Salceda asks DBM, DILG to increase travel allowance of LGU officials ‘to boost tourism’
MANILA, Philippines — Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has requested the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Interior and Local Government to increase the travel allowance rates of local government unit (LGU) officials.
According to Salceda, raising the representation and transportation allowance (RATA) of officials would “boost domestic tourism as face-to-face engagements resume.”
The RATA, according to a 2013 circular form the DBM, are allowances that are given to selected government officials to cover expenses relating to the performance of their function.
“The increase in rates will help boost our meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions or MICE scene, which suffered structural losses due to the pandemic,” Salceda said in a statement on Saturday.
MICE is a tourism term for meetings and conventions for large groups.
“From 2013 to 2022, the value of each peso has eroded to 74 centavos. It also no longer makes sense given that LGUs have increased local revenues from 107.98 billion to 256.21 billion last year.
That’s a 137% growth rate. Around the same period, national government revenues only grew by 75%. So, they’re actually doing a better job at improving revenue collection,” said Salceda.
Salceda insisted that LGU officials “deserve the increase given their improved efforts in generating local revenues.” He also proposed that the increase should be sourced from the LGU’s revenues and not from the national government.
According to Salceda, the current daily travel expense (DTE) is P1,500 to P1,800.
“From 2019 to 2022, the value of each peso has eroded to 89 centavos. Proportionately, the DTE should now be adjusted to P1,688 to P2,026,” he said.