Congress to allocate P1.5-T unpaid IRA to LGUs owed by national government

Published July 22, 2018, 4:52 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mar Supnad

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – The chairman of the House committee on appropriations will appropriate the unpaid share of local government units amounting to more than P1 trillion following decision by the Supreme Court.

Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles (Federico Cruz / File | Manila Bulletin)
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles (Federico Cruz / File | Manila Bulletin)

Davao City first district Rep. Karlo Nograles said however that they will wait first for the final and
executory decision of SC on the said decision as this involves a huge amount to be paid by the national government to LGUs.

Nograles was in Bataan on Wednesday upon the invitation of Bataan second district Rep Joet Garcia.

The late congressman Enrique Tet Garcia was the original author of the case, together with then congressman now Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, who filed before the SC a petition asking that the LGUs are also entitled on the questioned taxes being collected by the national government.

“The late congressman Tet maybe smiling above with the favorable decision of the SC, being the proponent,” Garcia said.

But Nograles said they will also study first the decision and wait for its finality before they will set aside the amount as this involves a big amount of money.

But even before the SC decision came out, a financial group has been lobbying other LGUs to “pay cash in full their Internal Revenue Act ( IRA) share” optimistic that a decision will come out in favor of the LGUs.

The group estimated that some P800 billion will be the total unpaid taxes for LGUs.

Based on a documents gathered by this writer, Bataan will receive a total of P5,826.586,654; Balanga will receive P894,961,971., while Olongapo city is set to receive P1,521,2355,721 and Zambales will receive P7,108,265,038, including that of Olongapo.

The Department of Finance however said they will file a motion for reconsideration through the Solicitor General as this will affect the budgetary allocation of the national government.

In his briefing to media, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told financial reporters that the DOF has yet to receive a copy of the SC ruling.

Under the SC ruling, LGUs should get bigger internal revenue allotments (IRAs), with funds coming not only from internal revenue taxes but from other government agencies such as BIR.

For Batangas City Gov. Hermilando I. Mandanas, he said the SC ruling should be implemented retroactively and total liabilities to LGUs have reached about P1.5 trillion from the period starting 1992 to 2018.