BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said that the electorate must vote for aspiring national and local officials who are willing to push for the amendment of pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local government code and other pertinent laws in order to increase the share of less developed local governments from the limited internal revenue allotment (IRA).
The local chief executive said that the only remedy to grant increased IRA to less developed local governments is through the amendment of the pertinent provision mandating that the national government will be entitled for a 60 percent of the IRA while local governments will have a share of 40 percent.
Earlier, Ifugao Gov. Dennis Habawel cited he will support the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay for president because he saw in him his sincerity to support the growth of less developed local governments through increasing their respective IRA so that more funds could be utilized for the implementation of more development projects and the improvement of the delivery of basic services to the grassroots level.
Domogan said the city government fully supports the proposal to increase the IRA of less developed local governments in order to strike a balance in the state of development of rural and urban areas, thus, those who must be elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate should also share the sentiments of local officials from poor local governments.
According to him, there was a proposal in Congress for the 5050 sharing of the IRA but the bill never saw light in the House of Representatives, thus, the same was never refilled for future members of the Congress to act on it.
It was learned that most of the local governments in the Cordillera, except for Baguio City, are IRA dependent, thus, increasing the IRA of local governments will contribute in higher budget allocations for more projects and more services to the people, especially those coming from remote villages regionwide.
He cited that with more projects being implemented in the rural areas, there will be improved economic activities that will also translate to increased sources of livelihood for the people and the eventual upliftment of the living condition of the people in the countryside.
He agreed to the contention that less developed local governments deserve increased IRA unlike the current set up where both rich and poor local governments receive a similar percentage share from the overall IRA generated by the national government.
Taxes are the lifeblood of the government, thus, the increase in economic activities in the countryside will result to higher taxes to be paid by businesses considering their higher income thereby translating to greater IRA for deserving local governments.
By Dexter A. See