Increasing local execs’ travel money can help boost tourism – Salceda | Inquirer News
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Increasing local execs’ travel money can help boost tourism – Salceda

/ 05:32 AM December 25, 2022

Joey Salceda. STORY: Increasing local execs’ travel money can help boost tourism – Salceda


MANILA, Philippines — Local government officials can indeed help boost local tourism — especially if they are given more travel money.

The idea came from Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who noted that the domestic travel allowances of local officials were last updated years ago and that the value of the peso had shrunk since then.


Giving them an increase now “will boost domestic tourism, which suffered scarring effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Salceda said in a statement on Saturday. “The increase in rates will help boost our meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions or MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) scene, which suffered structural losses due to the pandemic.”


The adjustments can be made in their daily travel allowance, representation, and transportation allowances (RATA) and per diem rates, he added.

Revenue growth

Salceda, who chairs the House committee on ways and means, directed his appeal at the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“The increase should be sourced from LGU (local government unit) revenues so that it does not affect our limited national government fiscal space. But it should be done,” he stressed.

The lawmaker pointed out that the RATA at the local government level was last updated in January 2013, while the per diem for local travel was last adjusted in 2019.

“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 P107.98 billion to P256.21 billion last year. That’s a 137-percent growth rate. Around the same period, national government revenues only grew by 75 percent. So, they’re actually doing a better job at improving revenue collection,” he said.

LGUs also have more resources because of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas ruling on LGUs’ share of the internal revenue allotment, the congressman added.


“All in all, they are better placed to help the domestic tourism sector. They also deserve the increase given their improved efforts in generating local revenues,” he said.

Periodic review

Salceda suggested that the RATA be raised by at least 35 percent, taking inflation into consideration.

As for per diems for local travel, Executive Order No. 77, which was issued in 2019 during the Duterte administration, prescribed the rates of expenses and allowances for travel, and mandated a periodic review every three years based on lodging costs and other economic indicators.

According to Salceda, the daily travel expenses (DTE) of local officials currently range from P1,500 to P1,800.

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“From 2019 to 2022, the value of each peso has eroded to 89 centavos. Proportionately, the DTE should now be adjusted from P1,688 to P2,026,” he said.



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