April 14, 2024

Local government units are assured of a bigger share of the national budget in compliance with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to allot more for projects that are crucial to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDG is a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations for “peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.”

 “The directive of our President: Do everything that is appropriate and necessary to benefit your communities in the development of the country,” House Speaker Martin Romualdez told officials during the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) general assembly at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

The LMP gathering, headed by Mayor Joseph Bernos of La Paz, Abra, carried the theme, “Sustainable Development Goals’ localization: Pathway to sustainable municipal development.”

Romualdez said the House is allocating more funds for LGUs in acknowledgment of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling which augments their share from national taxes.

“This ruling signifies a transformative shift, aimed at enhancing the fiscal autonomy of LGUs, thereby empowering you to better address local developmental needs. The 2024 budget reflects this change, ensuring a larger portion of the national tax allotment is directed to local governments,” he said.

The House leader pointed out that the executive department, in conjunction with Congress, is committed to working collaboratively to identify and harness additional resources necessary for LGUs to effectively realize their development goals.

In 2018, Batangas Gov. Hermilando Mandanas and then Bataan Rep. Enrique Garcia challenged the computation of the just share of the LGUs in the national taxes.

The landmark case strengthened financial decentralization where the LGUs have a just share of the tax collection of national government agencies. 

The 17 SDGs are no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace, justice, and strong institutions; and partnerships for the goals.– PNA