MAKATI Mayor and United Opposition’s vice presidential candidate Jejomar Binay pushes for a more empowered local government units (LGUs) in the country.

“I grow up from the local government. If the barangays are progressive, you will have (a) progressive city and when you have that, it will likewise lead to a progressive province and the whole country as well. So let’s give more power to LGUs. Let’s give more support to LGUs,” he said.

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He added: “…And besides, we are required to prepare an Annual Development Plan. It would become useless if the LGUs have no funds, which specifically applies to LGUs that are dependent with their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to the tune of 90 to 98 percent.”

IRA is used for salaries and wages, he noted.

He further commented on the lopsided sharing of the IRA, citing that in the country, 82 percent of the money on government expenditure is spent by the National Government and the LGUs only get 18 percent.

“It does not jive with the experience of the other governments who are progressive. You will see there that the National Government spends only 30 to 40 percent as most of the budget goes to the LGUs at 60 to 70 percent for progressive countries,” Binay further said.

Binay was in Bacolod City for the inauguration of his headquarters at 2nd Street.

Early Tuesday, along with former President Joseph Estrada, Binay went to Don Salvador Benedicto for the mass oath taking with the United Opposition group of barangay officials from the first district in Negros Occidental.

On the issue on survey results, Binay is not worried. He said his party is welcomed by the people during their provincial sorties in Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and in Negros Occidental.

Binay believes that the real and reflective survey would come out two weeks before the elections on May 10.

“It’s too early to predict the result of the elections,” he said. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)