Gov. Imee Marcos lauds Supreme Court ruling on expanded IRA; says decision has been long-awaited and calls for 2020 effectivity

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Senatorial candidate and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos called on the Executive Department to immediately craft a mechanism that will expedite the unconditional and automatic release of the 40 percent share of all national taxes of local government units, effective next year.

“Our LGUs have been deprived for the longest time of their ‘just share’ on their Internal Revenue Allotment computed based on all national taxes and not just from national internal revenue taxes,” said Marcos, the lone local official running for senator in the May 13 polls.

“As a candidate coming from the ranks of local government officials, I really know what our local executives feel – the issues that are closest to their hearts. Our budget is sorely lacking when in fact we are at the frontline when it comes to delivering services to our constituents,” she added.

Marcos lauded the Supreme Court for upholding its earlier decision increasing the IRA of local government units, calling a just and principled judgment.

“The SC ruling is a game changer in local governance because it will effectively empower LGUs in exercising its true mandate of delivering basic services to the people, as envisioned by the Local Government Code,” said Marcos, the deputy secretary general for Luzon of the League of Provinces of the Philippines.

“When our kababayans have problems, who do they run to? They go to us local government officials. More than 50% of the poor are also in the countryside and LGUs are our frontliners in the fight against poverty. They need all the resources they can muster to address the problem of poverty in rural areas,” she added.

The High Court ruled that the IRA must now include tariff and duties collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, 50 percent of value-added tax, 30 percent of national taxes collected in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 60 percent of national taxes collected from the exploitation and development of national wealth, 85 percent of excise tax from tobacco products, and a portion of franchise tax under Republic Acts 6631 and 6632 (Horse Racing Laws), among others.

The SC decision stemmed from a petition filed by former Batangas Rep. and now provincial Gov. Hermilando Mandanas, who claimed that from 1992 to 2012, unreleased IRA had reached P500 billion.

The high court, however, ruled the implementation of higher IRA is prospective and not retroactive.

The adjusted amounts will be given to LGUs starting in the 2022 budget cycle.

Earlier, the League of Provinces of the Philippines endorsed Marcos’ senatorial bid of Marcos, citing her “no non-sense performance in public service and governance as champion for the improvement of the lives of Filipinos, especially those in the countryside.”

In its resolution, the LPP described Marcos as “an efficient and effective local public official” who can immensely contribute in realizing the vision of President Rodrigo Duterte to build a stronger and more progressive republic.

The LPP, which gathers all governors from the 81 provinces across the country, expressed confidence that Marcos will “bring to the Senate the concerns of local governments and local government officials to reinforce local autonomy and ensure local development.”