Press Release
May 9, 2012


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III wants a bigger share for local governments from the total revenues collected by the national government.

In filing what he calls the "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice Bill", Pimentel seeks to amend Section 284 of the Local Government Code of 1991 along two lines.

The "bigger pie", Pimentel explained, refers to the tax base. At present, the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of LGUs is based on the "national internal revenue taxes" collected by the BIR. But the Constitution states that "Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them."

Pimentel wants to amend the phrase "national internal revenue taxes" into "national taxes", which he said refers to the taxes and other amounts collected by the national government, not only by the BIR.

The "bigger slice", on the other hand, refers to the sharing between the National Government and the local governments. Currently, the sharing is 60% to 40%.

Under Pimentel's proposal, even with the "bigger pie", the sharing should be "hating kapatid", or 50-50, between the National Government and the local governments.

The senator from Mindanao has calculated that with the enactment of his proposed bill into law, if the share of LGUs based on the collection of all national taxes and the sharing between national and local is 50-50, then the "Share in the National Taxes" or SNT -- no longer IRA -- of an LGU such as Quezon City would be P5.432 Billion.

The benefits of the increased LGU share would also be extended all the way down to the barangays, Pimentel said.

Pimentel told Quezon City officials during last Monday's flag-raising ceremony where he was guest speaker that he is also focusing on other legislative initiatives given his limited term as senator.

Apart from local governments, Pimentel said, he is focusing on four other issues: justice, youth, OFWs and electoral reform.

His proposed bills include the "Anti-Chamber Practice Bill"; reform rather than abolition of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK); making the retention of the passports of OFWs by their recruiters and employers a criminal act (a form of grave coercion); and allowing early voting of media practitioners, the designation of special ground floor voting precincts for persons with disabilities and senior citizens who already have difficulty climbing a flight of stairs.

Pimentel said his "most radical idea, which I admit is a long shot, is the incorporation of the voters' biometrics into the voting machines. The Board of Election Inspectors will be our first line of defense against election cheating, and it is my hope to make the machines our last line of defense for those who are able to penetrate the first line of defense. The machines will not care or even know who the local warlord is."

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