Mandanas ruling could have helped LGUs brace for Odette: senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2021 10:40 AM

Photo of typhoon-battered areas in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, which President Rodrigo Duterte visited on December 20, 2021. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo
Photo of typhoon-battered areas in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, which President Rodrigo Duterte visited on December 20, 2021. Alberto Alcain, Presidential Photo


MANILA— Sen. Imee Marcos said Tuesday the implementation of the Mandanas ruling, which entitles local governments to a share of all national taxes, could have helped low-class towns prepare better for Typhoon Odette.

The 2018 Supreme Court ruling increases the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local governments by 55 percent in the 2022 budget.

"How much money does an LGU have at the 6th class level to preposition medicine, generators, put water potability facilities and so on. It’s a tough, tough call," Marcos told ANC's Headstart.

"The capacity of LGUs is very, very low, we were hoping the Mandanas ruling would resolve this."

The Department of Finance, however, said earlier that the implementation of the ruling would result in “three percent lower economic growth."

"I'm very very perplexed, wala bang Viber group ang ating Cabinet kasi (does the President's Cabinet do not have a Viber group) we hear the President talk about federalism and decentralizing imperial Manila and yet the economic managers have fought the Mandanas ruling every step of the way," Marcos said.

"Postponing it in the first place, now we’re excluding P431 billion for what would have been a windfall for the LGUs. We were expecting an increase in the national tax share of up to 55 percent for every LGU and that would have made a huge difference in the small municipalities that were hit by Odette."

Economic managers had "pushed back" the implementation of the ruling "until 2022, basically kicking the can down the road to the next administration," Marcos said.

"Aside from the postponement, exclusions, they're devolving very critical services such as health. They're saying that from 2022-2025 kanya-kanya na ang small rural and provincial hospitals (small rural and provincial hospitals will be on their own)," she said.

"I have a sense that the President hopefully will come back to this and revisit the EO (Executive Order 138) and there will be more consultations with the LGUs," she added. 

Marcos also said she prefers a smaller scale agency rather than a department for disaster response.

"Ayoko ng department agad, sa 5 undersecretaries pa lang, sa sahod pa lang ubos na 'yang budget. I want it to start on a smaller scale so we can see how effective it was, at the same time giving it more coordination powers," she said.

(I don't want a department, the budget will not be enough, 5 undersecretaries will take up most of it.)

"The fact that you declare a department doesn’t overnight solve a problem. We've ended up with ghost departments like DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology), housing."

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