Tuesday, January 10, 2012

News Update Solon wants P500-B in revenue allotment released to LGUs

A Batangas congressman on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to order the release of almost P500 billion in internal revenue allotment (IRA) from Customs collections in favor of local government units (LGUs). In a petition, Rep. Hermilando Mandanas said the national government failed to include revenue taxes from imported materials in computing the IRA for LGUs since 1992. "When included in accordance with the Philippine Constitution and other applicable laws, then the LGUs should receive P498,854,388,154.93 or very close to P500 billion," Mandanas said. Mandanas' cited Section 6, Article X of the Philippine Constitution, which mandates the "automatic release" of LGUs' "just share" in national taxes. Section 21 of the Republic Act 8424, according to the Batangas politician, specified national revenue taxes as those from the following sources: income taxes estate and donor's taxes value-added tax other percentage taxes excise tax documentary stamp taxes such other taxes as are hereafter may be imposed and collected by the BIR.Mandanas said the government collects these taxes from imported goods that pass through Customs. The P500-billion IRA "will definitely pump prime the Philippine economy, create more jobs and hasten development in the countryside," Mandanas noted. Respodents in the Mandanas petition include the Office of the National Treasurer, the BIR, the Departments of Finance and Budget and Management, and the Office of the Executive Secretary. The lawmaker also asked the high court to a issue a writ of preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order involving P60.75 billion for capital outlays under the 2012 General Appropriations Act. "This amount is equivalent to the IRA for the LGUs in accordance with law that has been misappropriated by the National Government in the 2012 GAA," he said. "And if the unconstitutional release of the P60.75 billion is not restrained by the Supreme Court, then again the misuse of local funds for national projects will go unabated," the petitioner added. A former Batangas governor (1995-2004) and former chair of the House committee on ways and means, Mandanas said he filed the petition as a taxpayer. — VS