Senator Francis Tolentino urged the incoming leadership of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to empower local government units using the “Mandanas ruling” of the Supreme Court in averting the effects of a looming global recession amid the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inflation brought by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Tolentino said the Budget Department should offer local government units (LGUs) funded allocations that are truly “up to date” and can respond to the present needs and demands of the society considering that the purchasing power of ordinary Filipinos has severely weakened over the past two years.
“Dapat tumugon sa (tunay na) pangangailangan.”
“Etong DBM–the outgoing officials–nagbigay sila ng mga guidelines, alituntunin kung paano gagastusin ang (additional allocations sa) Mandanas ruling… napakalaking halaga niyan. Kung may napipinto o ongoing na yung recession, at dapat bigyan ang ating mga LGUs na gamitin nila hindi (lang) dun sa imposed ng DBM… dapat tumugon sa (tunay na) pangangailangan,” the legislator said in a radio interview.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government stressed that as localities are expected to receive bigger share of budget allotment under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP)–amid the full implementation of the Mandanas ruling–they should be given freehand and more room on how to utilize those program allocations realistically.
The 2018 Mandanas Ruling basically increased the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) computation of every existing LGUs, and now includes all collection of national taxes except those accruing to special-purpose funds and special allotments for the utilization and development of the national wealth.
“The additional allocations provided under the Mandanas ruling can be used by each locality to lessen the impact of inflation by ensuring the country’s food security through construction of additional warehouses, milling stations, and cold storage facilities for local farmers and fisherfolks.”
According to the legislator, the additional allocations provided under the Mandanas ruling can be used by each locality to lessen the impact of inflation by ensuring the country’s food security through construction of additional warehouses, milling stations, and cold storage facilities for local farmers and fisherfolks.
“Hindi yung i-impose na lang ng DBM kung ano yung dapat gawin ng mga local government units… halimbawa po kasi ang kanilang menu eh pang-almusal, eh hapunan (naman yung binibigay). Kailangan (dapat) kung ano yung pangangailangan,” the senator added.