DBM releases P71.74-billion IRA shares of LGUs for 1st quarter

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Thursday, March 24, 2011


THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released a total of P71.74-billion Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of local government units (LGUs) in the first quarter this year, equivalent to 25 percent of the total 2011 appropriation of P286.94 billion.

“We call on our LGU executives to always exercise prudence, transparency and accountability in disbursing their IRA shares which, ultimately, came from the pockets of our citizens,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said Wednesday as he encouraged civil society organizations and other groups to also exercise their right to be informed on how their local governments spend their budgets.

For the month of March, DBM said it has released 80 percent of the P23.9-billion IRA to LGUs while the remaining 20 percent will be released on March 24.

IRA shares were computed based on the 2011 level of P286.94 billion as certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the revised 2007 National Statistics Office census of population and the 2001 Land Management Bureau masterlist of land area, DBM explained.

Abad, meanwhile, asked the 16 municipalities that recently won a Supreme Court ruling declaring their cityhood valid to await for the final and executory ruling of the SC on the motion for reconsideration filed early this month by the League of Cities of the Philippines against the latest decision.

“The SC’s final and executory decision on the questioned cityhood of 16 municipalities is a requisite on the full release of IRA. With how it had reversed its decision thrice, it would be more prudent for us to wait for the final ruling before making any changes to the distribution of IRA,” Abad explained in a statement.

The High Tribunal had issued four separate decisions on the cityhood conversion of 16 towns: On November 18, 2008, it declared the 16 Cityhood Laws as null and void; it changed its decision on December 21, 2009 and upheld the constitutionality of the Cityhood Laws; on August 24, 2010, it reinstated its November 2008 ruling while as per its latest decision dated February 15, 2011, the SC again affirmed the constitutionality of the 16 cities.

Abad said that assuming that the SC rules in favor of the conversion with finality within the year, “the DBM can then appropriate funds for the full city-level IRA to these 16 LGUs in 2012. But if the High Court decides against the conversion with finality—or if no final judgement is rendered within the budget preparation or authorization period—DBM cannot appropriate the city-level IRA amounts.”

He added that the IRA of LGUs for 2011 was already allocated at the start of the year, saying “it is not legally possible to release the city-level IRAs for the 16 LGUs from the 2011 budget as none has been appropriated.”

Section 9 of the General Appropriations Act (GAA) states that “any adjustments that occurred, including final and executory court decisions rendered, and such other changes, modifications or alterations in any of the factors affecting the computations of IRA that occurred, rendered on happened in fiscal year (FY) 2011 shall only be considered and implemented in FY 2012.” (CGC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 24, 2011.

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