DBM-CAR clarifies IRA share adjustments

SSS conducts Employers’ Forum in Mtn. Prov. Ilocos Sur About 200 employers and employer representatives attended the SSS Employers’ Forum held at Bontoc, Mtn. Province and Candon, Ilocos Sur last February 28 and March 1, respectively. The Employers’ Forum spearheaded by the Member Communications and Assistance Department (MCAD) was aimed to educate employers about their legal obligations and various benefits and privileges provided by the SSS. The participants were also given the opportunity to clarify some SSS policies as well as to voice out their suggestions to open additional SSS offices in the province and other far-flung municipalities, lessen documentary requirements for benefit claims, and conduct a series of employer/employee forums. Photo shows SSS Vice President for North Luzon 1 Division Ceasar P. Saludo (left) and Atty. III of the Legal Services Division Atty. Jomar C. Catabay (right) during the open forum held in Bontoc, Mountain Province. **

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb. 26 (PIA) – – The adjusted Internal Revenue Allotment(IRA) of local government units for the current year is due to the creation of new barangays nationwide and the discontinuance of allotment for devolved functions under the Local Government Code.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Cordillera Regional Director Irene Gahid explained the reasons for IRA share adjustment before members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) here last week.
The DBM recently issued Local Budget Memorandum No. 77-B which provides for the final appropriations amending the earlier directive, LBM 77, which indicates the tentative budgetary allocation.
The provincial government of Benguet gets a deduction of P17,148,824.00 or 1.59 percent from its IRA share. From P1.078846 billion it is now reduced to P1.061698 billion.
For the municipalities of the province, all except the capital town of La Trinidad incurred reduction totaling to P7.3M. La Trinidad LGU gets an increase of IRA share of P398,007, from P255.424M to P255.822M.
Gahid said IRA shares of LGUs have been adjusted following the creation of 15 new barangays nationwide by virtue of various laws.
Moreover, there are devolved functions from the national government to the local governments such as agricultural extension, community-based forestry, field health and hospital services, public works, social welfare services, among others. The discontinuance of the Cost of Devolved Functions or CODEF should have been after the devolution took effect in 1992, but will only be implemented this year, she added.
“The cost of devolved functions was not removed actually, it was just redistributed to all LGUs, thus the decrease in some,” Gahid explained.
Sections 284 and 285 of the LGC were used as basis for computation of IRA adjustments, she added.
Governor Crescencio Pacalso lamented that banking on the earlier approved budget, they have already appropriated their 2019 IRA. However, with the adjustment in which there is now P17M shortfall, they will have to look for other means to fund some programs and projects, otherwise they will be forced to prioritize and defer others until there are enough funds.
Based on the Bureau of Local Government and Finance figures in 2016, the province is 72 percent IRA-dependent. La Trinidad is only 56% IRA-dependent followed by Itogon at 62%, Bokod, 71%, and Tuba at 74%. The rest of the towns’ IRA dependency range from 81 to 96%.**JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet

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