De Lima hopes budget increase will ‘usher in more empowered LGUs’


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima hopes that the budget increase for the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the 2022 National Budget would empower and help them ensure genuine progress in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said the start of the implementation of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas ruling expanding local governments’ share in national taxes should prompt LGUs to work even harder.

“Doubts being expressed on their spending capacity should serve as a challenge for LGUs to work harder and more efficiently as government braces itself for the start of the implementation of the Mandanas ruling,” she said.

“Constantly faced with huge challenges primarily brought about by calamities and disasters, the significant revenue increases for LGUs will certainly be a big boost for them, and hopefully usher in an era of an energized and more empowered LGUs,” she added.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), LGUs are the biggest beneficiaries of the P5.024-trillion 2022 National Budget signed into law by President Duterte.

The LGUs will reportedly be getting P959.04 billion of the 2022 budget through their National Tax Allotment (NTA), formerly called the Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA.

Notably, the big increase was due to the implementation of the Mandanas ruling, which determined that the “just share” of LGUs shall be sourced from “all national taxes and not only national internal revenue taxes.”

De Lima stressed that the LGUs’ success in allocating their budget will be truly possible with enough assistance from the national government.

“With greater autonomy comes greater responsibility. And resources are key to LGU empowerment and rural progress,” she said.

“For its part, national government should do all it can to assist and support LGUs in achieving genuine and effective autonomy that is beneficial to all.

“Sa halip na ipitin o limitahan ang pondo ng LGU dahil sa politika, dapat silang pagkatiwalaan at gabayan para magamit ito sa mga kapaki-pakinabang na serbisyo na makatutulong sa kanilang nasasakupan upang makaahon sa hirap at makaarangkada sa pag-unlad,” she added. (30)

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