Issue of September 8, 2019
Mt. Province
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Senator renew attempt for additional dev’t fund for LGUs
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Equitable development where governors, mayors, and barangay captains do not have to beg for funds for development programs.

This is what Sen. Panfilo Lacson is aiming for in proposing to allot local government units additional funds for development programs, projects, and activities in order to attain equitable distribution of budget, over and above LGUs’ Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share from the national government.

Lacson, who graced Baguio City’s 110th charter anniversary on Sept. 1, said his bill, dubbed as Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (Brave), intends to augment the development fund of the provinces, municipalities, cities, and barangays to create development opportunities and attain inclusive growth.

The bill is being re-filed in the Senate after it was not acted upon in the previous term. Former mayor Mauricio Domogan then expressed full support to the proposal as it will eliminate patronage politics and will ensure development up to the remotest village seldom reached by fund support.

This time, Lacson said Baguio Rep. Mark Go, who told him that he would sponsor a counterpart bill at the House of Representatives, is backing the proposal.

The senator said Brave will do away with dole-out mentality and LGUs would vie for having the best development programs instead of begging for fund assistance from congressmen and senators every budget season.  

He said the national government can afford the additional fund support for LGUs because there is a huge amount of unused appropriation annually, averaging P267 billion from 2010 to 2018.

Lacson said it would be more sensible if the amount is equitably distributed for development plans of LGUs.

Ang nangyayari ay nagkakaroon ng dole-out mentality, na tuwing budget season nakikita namin ang mga barangay chairmen, governors, at mayors na nakapila sa Congress na parang namamalimos, eh budget nating lahat yan. If given to them, magkakaroon ng inclusive growth, walang maiiwan,” Lacson said.

If enacted into law, the senator said Baguio City for instance which was allotted 20 percent or P150.5 million for local development programs from its P752M IRA for 2018 would be looking at an additional P150M to P300M for development projects.

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