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Neg. Occ. budget to increase by P1.4-B – Lacson

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The budget of the provincial government of Negros Occidental is projected to increase by P1.4 billion next year, because of the Mandanas ruling, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson revealed yesterday.

Lacson said all the collections of the Bureau of Customs and other taxes will be included in the computation of the National Tax Allotment, formerly known as the Internal Revenue Allotment.

The Mandanas ruling is a 2018 Philippine Supreme Court decision asserting that the bases of the computations of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) for local government units (LGUs) are erroneous, thus denying LGUs a just share of the IRA.

Lacson said they will propose a P5 billion budget for the province next year, which will be submitted next month for deliberations by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental.

The proposed budget, according to Lacson, will be spread out to agriculture, education, infrastructure and health, among others. But because of COVID-19, the provincial government has to make sure to sustain another year of pandemic, just in case it lingers on, he said.

The Mandanas-Garcia ruling resulted from the petition made by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and former Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr. before the Supreme Court on local government shares in the internal revenue allotment (IRA).

According to the petitioners, LGU shares should include all national taxes. The Supreme Court affirmed that local government units are entitled to a “just share” on all national taxes collected and not only from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

At present, LGU’s IRA comes from 40 percent of national internal revenue taxes collected by the BIR.

With the Mandanas-Garcia ruling implementation in 2022, it is projected that LGUs will have a 27.61 percent increase in the total IRA shares.

The Department of Finance computed an increase of 27.61 percent to the budget that has to be given as share to LGUs. This is equivalent to a P234.39 billion increase to the funds that will be redistributed to all LGUs in the country, according to DOF.*

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