A lawmaker approves of the P251.18-billion proposed budget for stronger LGU systems.
“Through this budget, we must strengthen LGUs’ capacity to recover from the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, institutionalize LGU preparedness and resilience to natural disasters, and managing risks and crises,” said House Committee on Appropriations chair and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Zaldy Co.
He also thinks boosting LGU capacity may help achieve the country’s strategy toward more devolution.
The lawmaker noted that the national police will receive the lion’s share of the requested allocation (P191.496 billion) to keep up with the government’s increased efforts versus insurgency, crime and illegal drugs.
The Philippine Public Safety College gets the biggest hike at 11.4 percent, <span;>from this year’s P645.573 million to P719.409 million in 2023.
Quezon City Rep. Franz Pumaren, meanwhile, has questions to raise.
“Don’t you think dapat decreasing na ‘yung local government support fund, instead of increasing?”
According to him, the local government assistance fund received 61 percent of the total P10.9 billion in the 2023 proposal, while the Mandanas-Garcia Supreme Court ruling had previously granted the LGU a “big chunk” of the national tax allotment.
Interior Sec. Benhur Abalos responded: The local government assistance fund intends to aid poor communities, with almost 45 percent of towns in the country falling under the fourth, fifth and sixth classes.
According to the budget department, local governments would be in charge of communal irrigation and the like, aside from all school-building repairs and construction, which, Abalos stressed, some might not be able to shoulder.
He ensured that the LGU support fund wouldn’t be provided to the DILG and would instead go to the designated LGUs, especially the underprivileged.
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