New rules remove DBM role in LGUs’ IRA
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet—The local government units’ (LGUs) share from taxes collected in a year by the national government, known as the internal revenue allotment (IRA), will be sent directly to the towns’ bank accounts in 2016, bypassing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento said on Thursday.
The new IRA process is one of many fiscal reforms that would stay after the administration of President Aquino ends next year, Sarmiento told mayors in Cordillera.
This is possible due to the country’s improved economic growth, Sarmiento said, who was here on Thursday to turn over 75 police patrol vehicles to mayors and police units.
Sarmiento said the national government believes local officials will improve their own economies, so even funds for projects approved through the government’s bottom-up budgeting process would now be sent directly to the beneficiary town.
In an earlier meeting, however, he told mayors that the provincial bureaucracy has failed to cope with improvements in the dispensation of funds that made it quicker to start projects.
Some town engineers, for example, are not equipped to draw up work plans or designs that are up to national standards, he said.
The Aquino administration’s task before it winds up work in June next year is to synchronize the local government cycle for planning, developing and budgeting projects with the national government’s schedule, he said.
“My personal estimate is that whatever IRA the local government units received in 2012 would be doubled by the year 2018. The revenue collection this year would compose the IRA of 2018,” Sarmiento said.
The new IRA protocol was approved by President Aquino on the request of former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the administration candidate for President.
“The old process required the National Treasury to transmit the IRA shares to the DBM. The DBM transmits the allocation to its regional office before the amount reaches a town’s bank account,” Sarmiento said.
Next year, the National Treasury has been authorized to deposit the IRA allocations of the towns directly to their accounts, he said.
Sarmiento said the Philippine government’s finances were in a poor state in 2004. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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