Half of national taxes to go to LGUs in Pimentel bill
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has refiled a bill that seeks to increase the share of local government units (LGU) in taxes collected by the national government.
Senate Bill No. 110, or the "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice" bill, seeks to amend Section 284 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code to increase to 50% – from 40%– the LGU share in national internal revenue taxes.
The tax base for LGUs would also be expanded to include taxes, tariffs, and duties collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC). (READ: The taxes we pay)
The senator said this would enable LGUs to get more resources in fulfilling their roles as frontliners in the delivery of government services and attaining faster development and progress.
“The bill aims to empower LGUs, all the way down to the barangay, with bigger funds, and hopefully, with greater means to change the lives of their constituents,” Pimentel said in a statement on Saturday, July 16.
He added that the full empowerment of LGUs has long been the advocacy of PDP-Laban, which he heads. President Rodrigo Duterte also belongs to PDP-Laban as its chairman.
"We intend to see through its desired fruition by the passage of the necessary legislation," Pimentel continued.
Pimentel also argued that with the inclusion of tariffs from the BOC in the tax base, the fight against smuggling would be converted into a national and grassroots concern.
"If the fight against smuggling succeeds, the BOC’s collections will increase and which, in turn, will also increase the LGUs’ share in the national taxes," said Pimentel.
His bill also seeks to change the words "national internal revenue taxes" to "national taxes," which Pimentel said is still, if not more, compliant with the Constitution.
The "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice" bill was among the 10 measures recently filed by Pimentel in the 17th Congress.
Some of his other proposed legislation are the creation of a framework for the right to adequate food, putting an end to labor contractualization, the abolition of the Road Board, modernization of procurement during calamities, and strict enforcement and compliance with the national building code. – Michael Bueza/Rappler.com