PCL Supports Local Government Code Revision
National Officers of the Philippine Councilors League participated to the National Consultation Workshop on proposed amendments to the 1991 Local Government Code on 6 October 2017 at Crowne Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
In attendance were PCL’s representatives to the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) National Chairman Danilo Dayanghirang and on behalf of National President Luis “Chavit” Singson, National Executive Vice President Benito Brizuela with the General Legal Counsel Atty. Rey Oliver Alejandrino and Executive Director Wilson Paclibar.
During the said event, Senator Sonny Angara, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government enumerated nine (9) key reform areas in the proposed amendments:
1. Strengthening LGUs will eliminate confusion, overlaps, and ambiguities to their respective functions and mandates;
2. The panels agreed that barangays are given too many functions, it was recommended that their mandates be limited only to health, safety, and justice. They also agreed that while provincial and city councils should still have the power to create new barangays, mechanisms should be in place to assure the funding for these new barangays. Two consecutive five (5) year terms of office were also proposed so that barangay officials will be given incentives to develop plans and services in connection with their 10-year development plans. Certain appointive positions in the barangay should also be made permanent and professionalized;
3. Discussions revolved on how inter-LGU/inter-local cooperation can be promoted, especially in areas where resources and capacities are better pooled like natural resource management, disaster risk reduction (DRR), or the delivery of basic social services;
4. The panels agreed that for certain strategic projects, better synergy and participation among LGUs, the national government and the private sector, should be promoted. LGUs should also be given incentives to synchronize their activities with one another;
5. Other discussions involved were reviewing the criteria for the creation and conversions of LGUs, namely the income, land area, and population requirements;
6. The panels also covered the oversight functions of LGUs where they agreed that clarifications are needed on the regulatory function and the extent of local autonomy vis-à-vis the accountability between the National Government and Local Government, especially in terms of the delivery of devolved basic services. It was unanimous that a performance management accountability system should be established. The panels agreed that the current system of awarding the Seals of Good Governance should be institutionalized;
7. Across the board, the panels agreed to improve and professionalize the human resources of every LGU;
8. The panels agreed to revisit the LGU’s land reclassification standards and processes, particularly in the management of water resources. Another recommendation was for LGUs to let go of the graduated schedule for their local business taxes, and replace it with a simple, easier to administer flat tax;
9. The panels suggested that: (1) the taxing powers of LGUs should be enhanced to make them less dependent on IRA; (2) that the overall cost of doing business in LGUs should be reduced; and that (3) local taxes should be simplified to enhance compliance.