Manila, Philippines – The national government and the local government units may soon get an equal share in the national taxes once a bill seeking a 50-50 revenue sharing is enacted into law. Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla is pushing for the passage of her House Bill 5400, which seeks to amend Sections 290 and 291 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
She said the 40-percent share of the LGUS in the national taxes should be increased to 50 percent “to promote and enhance their fiscal autonomy and to make them more dynamic especially in developing local communities.“ “Let us give the LGUs a bigger share in the national tax collections,“ she said.
She batted for the new revenue sharing scheme so that the LGUs could finance the operations of the devolved hospitals and the compensation of at least 45,000 health workers. She said since the LGUs have no enough financial backing as far as the operations of devolved hospitals was concerned, the national government, through the Department of Health, was forced to reassume control of many of these hospitals to arrest the deterioration of health services.
Under HB 5400, LGUs shall also get a share from mining taxes, royalties, forestry and fishery charges, and other taxes, fees or charges, including related surcharges, interest, fines and from share in any co-production, joint venture or production sharing agreement in the utilization and development of the national wealth within their territorial jurisdiction. (Charissa M. Luci)