DOF discloses LGUs’ fiscal performance

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Department of Finance (DOF) said its preliminary assessment of the fiscal performance of the local government units (LGUs) of Pampanga, Angeles City and the City of San Fernando for the period covering 2010 to 2012.

For Pampanga, the initial findings are impressive; for the two cities, the scores are not so good, if not dismal.

The province earned an overall score of "very good" while the two cities were rated from average to good, to needs improvement.

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The DOF based its ratings on its evaluation of the LGUs revenue generation capacity, local collection growth, expenditure management and reportorial compliance.

The Provincial Government, in the two years covered with Governor Lilia Pineda and former Vice-Governor Joseller "Yeng" Guiao at the helm, scored high on its overall revenue generation capacity attributed to its strongly locally sourced income and reduced dependence on the internal revenue allotment. Its tax revenue collections and non-tax revenues also increased tremendously.

However, the province scored low in terms of its total expenditure per capita even if it doubled from P399 in 2010 to P812 in 2012. It also used less than 20 percent of its IRA for local development projects.

The province also exceeded its allowed expenditures for personal services in 2011 and 2012.

Pampanga fared better than the other four provinces in Central Luzon, except for Bulacan and Bataan and did as good as Tarlac.

For the City of San Fernando, the overall revenue generation capacity in 2010 and 2012 showed "a poor level of regular and local incomes for a first-income class city." However, the DOF explained that it could not make a substantive analysis both for the revenue and expenditure indicators due to the absence of the required reports for 2011.

The DOF noted that "with the SRE report for FY 2011 still unavailable for more than 2 years now, it appears that there is a deliberate neglect in complying with the directives of Department Order No. 8 -2011, thus undermining the accuracy of the aggregate LGU report of the BLGF."

Like the province, the City of San Fernando also had a "very low" expenditure per capita in 2010 at P2,826 and in P2012 at P3,013 when compared with the average expenditure of P3,919 and P4,060, respectively for first class cities. The city also utilized less than 20 percent of the IRA for local development projects.

For Angeles City, the scorecard revealed that while revenue generation improved continuously from 2010 to 2012 and low dependence on IRA and other shares from national tax collection was maintained, the overall regular and local revenue levels remain at the lowest bracket for a first class city.

On expenditure management, the city also spent less per capita at P2,856 in 2010 and P3,338 in 2012, which is considered low among cities. It also utilized less than 20 percent of the IRA for local development projects. The city also exceeded the limit on personal services.

The two cities fared less than the other cities in the region like Olongapo, Malolos, Balanga and Gapan.

'Unrealistic, overstated'

In the case of the City of San Fernando, Acting City Administrator and City Planning Officer Engr. Fernando Limbitco told Sun.Star Pampanga on Wednesday that the DOF covering the two years rated "poor and needs improvement" was due to "unrealistic and overstated budgets."

"That is why the first thing that Mayor Edwin Santiago did at the start of his administration was to review the budget and resources and make them attainable. After reviewing the performance, the execution of projects versus the budget is very realistic now," he said.

Limbitco added that the City Government continues to introduce innovations to improve its fiscal performance.

"At present, we have monthly variance meetings where we monitor our performance. It is actually a first among LGUs in the country as attested by the World Bank which endorsed it for benchmarking," he said.

The DOF assessment, dubbed as "Iskor ng 'yong Bayan", is aimed at promoting governance at all levels by rating the fiscal performance of all LGUs through the LGU fiscal sustainability scorecard. (NCS/JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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