Arroyo bares P40B hike in IRA
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 16:01:00 02/26/2009
MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday announced a P40-billion increase in the internal revenue allotment (IRA) for local governments.
Speaking before a convention of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday, the President said the additional IRA would reflect the P100-billion increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) collections.
The government sets aside 40 percent of every increase in internal revenue to local governments, but the amount is released on a three-year lag. This year’s increase is from the 2006 tax collections.
Arroyo said she was the “best friend” of local government units and giving them their IRA is a “top priority.”
“I realize that the IRA is your primary tool to serve your constituencies,” Arroyo said, adding the fund would go a “long way towards ensuring that our people will get the kind of local government they want.”
Later on Thursday, Arroyo interacted with retrenched overseas Filipino workers looking for skills retraining options at an event organized by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also in Cagayan de Oro City.
Deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said Arroyo’s recent provincial sorties were meant to send a message that government services were reaching the people.
Last Tuesday, Arroyo convened a Cabinet meeting in her home province of Pampanga to check on the status of infrastructure projects under the Luzon Urban Beltway “super region.”
Succeeding Cabinet meetings are also tentatively set for the provinces, as Arroyo checks on the other “super regions.”
View article as posted on INQUIRER.net