Higher internal revenue allotment for LGUs sought-A A +A
Monday, September 16, 2013
(UPDATED) Bataan Representative Enrique Garcia Jr. recently urged the Supreme Court to order the government to give local government units (LGUs) their rightful share of the internal revenue allotment (IRA).
Garcia said the government owed P233.1 billion to the LGUs representing years 2009 to 2011 for not including collections of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the list of national revenue taxes, which is mandated by the Constitution.
Section 6 of Article X of the 1987 Constitution states that "local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them."
But Section 284 of the Local Government Code (Republic Act 7160) provides that the IRA share of LGUs should be computed as 40 percent of national internal revenue taxes collected in the third fiscal year preceding the current fiscal year.
These include income tax, estate and donors’ tax, value-added tax, other percentage taxes, excise taxes, documentary stamp taxes, and such other taxes that may be imposed and collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Garcia said he brought up the issue with the House Speaker, Senate President, and other key government officials but to no avail.
"His efforts to seek relief from the national government having been met with inaction, petitioner (Garcia) humbly seeks the intervention of the Honorable Court, through this petition, hoping that the promise to the LGU's of a genuine and meaningful local autonomy would be finally realized," the petition stated.
The lawmaker asked the SC to order government to compute the IRA of the LGUs on the basis of the national tax collections, to include all the tax collections of the BIR and the BOC and desist from deducting from the national tax collections any tax, item or amount that is not authorized by law to be deducted for the purpose of computing the IRA.
He also wanted a detailed computation of the IRA from 1995 to 2014, determine the IRA shortfall and distribute the amount to the LGUs.
Respondents in the petition were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares and Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.
"We have not received sufficient information about this petition in order for us to comment substantially. Let's just wait for the Supreme Court's action on the case. If required, the DOF (Department of Finance) will respond in the proper time. We welcome this avenue to clarify and resolve the matter," Purisima told Sun.Star.
A similar petition was filed by former Batangas Representative Hermilando Mandanas last year. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)