Lacson eyes budget reform bill

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Returning senator Panfilo Lacson said Friday that one of the first bills he would file in the 17th Congress aims to provide local government units (LGUs) with funds for its development projects that would be automatically appropriated annually.

Lacson, who placed fourth in the senatorial race in the May 9 elections, said his proposed budget reform act seeks to ensure there are enough funds for LGUs to implement their development projects by having the national government download these funds to them in every budget cycle.

Dubbed the Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment or BRAVE, Lacson aired his support for the incoming administration’s efforts to empower local governments and curb crime and his proposed bill will help address this.

“This shares the objective of federalism – to empower local government units with sufficient funds to implement their own development projects without having to go through the process of amending the Constitution,” Lacson said.

Under BRAVE, Lacson said each of the country’s 81 provinces can get P500 million to P1 billion; each town P50 to P100 million; each city P150 to P300 million and each barangay P3 to P5 million for development projects.

The added amounts are on top of the internal revenue allotments (IRAs) for LGUs’ local development projects, plans and activities.

He said the funds may be taken from the unused part of the national budget, which amounted to an average of P332 billion a year from 2002 to 2015. This ballooned to P703.6 billion in 2015.                                         


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