Press Release
June 26, 2013

Koko to prioritize revitalization of LGUs

BACOLOD CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL -- Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today pledged to make the revitalization of local governments one of his top priorities once he starts a full term in the Senate.

In remarks at the commemoration of the 75th signing of the Charter of Bacolod City, Pimentel said that while he is still committed to election reform, he now wants to continue the work of his father, former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. who was the leading advocate of local autonomy in Congress and principal author of the Local Government Code of the Philippines. "Just as the family is the basic unit of society, the local government, starting with the barangay, is the basic political unit of the Philippine government and territory. The autonomy and development of local governments is a basic test of democracy without which regional and national development will suffer," Pimentel said.

The lawmaker from Mindanao said he would pursue a bigger "Share in the National Taxes (SNT)" for cities, towns, provinces and barangays to speed up their economic growth, create jobs and deliver comprehensive social services.

Pimentel pointed out that LGUs have a right to a just share of the national taxes that should be immediately released to them, and are entitled to an equitable share in the proceeds of the utilization of the national resources within their jurisdiction. Pimentel's proposed measure, which he calls the "Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice Bill," will include in the funds to be divided between the national government and the LGUs all taxes such as Customs duties, LTO collections, and wharfage dues, not just internal revenue taxes.

Pimentel wants the sharing between the national government and the LGUs to be pegged at 50-50 in lieu of the present 60-40 percent provided for under the Local Government Code.

This increase in the funding of local government units and the change in sharing percentage would greatly increase the capacity of cities and municipalities as well as the barangays to deliver vital social services to their constituents, the lawmaker said.

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