Escudero calls for changes to 31-year-old local government code – Manila Bulletin

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Returning Senator Francis ”Chiz” Escudero on Saturday, July 9, uncovered his 20 priority bills under the 19th Congress, including a proposed amendment to the 31-year-old Republic Act (RA) No. 7160, or the Local Government Code 1991, with the aim of strengthening local government autonomy (LGU) through a more streamlined system of decentralization.

Senator Chiz Escudero (MANILA BULLETIN)

To support LGU autonomy, Escudero has tabled a separate bill that seeks to prohibit “any form of interference” by the national government over the use of the National Tax Allowance – formerly known as the Internal Revenue Allowance (IRA). – and other locally generated products. income.

The veteran lawmaker said the introduction of these two bills is part of his campaign promise to be the “voice of LGUs” in the Senate by ensuring that LGUs are truly empowered and self-governing, as provided for in the Constitution. from 1987 and the RA 7160.

Escudero served as governor of Sorsogon before seeking another six-year term in the 24-member Senate.

“Base na rin sa aking naging karanasan like gbernador, mas higit na may alam ang ating mga lokal na opisyal na patakbuhin ang kani-kanilang mga nasasakupan (Based on their experience as governor, our local government officials know how to manage their respective political jurisdictions),” he said.

“They know what is happening on the ground and they know what is best for their constituents. Certainly, they are also more knowledgeable than any government official who only gives directions and orders from their air-conditioned offices in Manila,” he added.

Among the amendments to the Local Government Code proposed by Escudero is the “effective distribution among the different Local Government Units (LGUs) of their respective powers, functions, responsibilities and resources regardless of any restrictions from national agencies.

He also proposed the establishment in each LGU of an “independent, accountable, efficient and dynamic organizational structure and operating mechanism that will meet the priority needs and service requirements of its communities”.

“For local self-government to be effective, it must amount to effective authority for local government units to decide matters concerning local affairs. And while it is not absolute, the parameters limiting its exercise should not give the national government the power to restrict the actions of [LGUs] or to substitute his judgment for theirs,” Escudero said in his explanatory note accompanying his RA 7160 Amendments Bill.

On the other hand, the “non-interference” bill obligates all agencies of the national government not to issue or execute any rules or regulations “in the form of memoranda, circulars, orders, resolutions, directives or any other publication in the exercise of their functions”. respective statutory functions and duties which will interfere, in any form, with the use of the national tax allocation and locally generated income by LGUs”.

The full list of Escudero’s 20 Priority Legislations is as follows:

1. A law prohibiting any form of interference by national government agencies in the use of the national tax allocation and locally generated revenues by local government units;

2. An Act to further strengthen local self-government through a more streamlined system of decentralization amending for this purpose Republic Act 7160, as amended, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991;

3. A law promoting business competitiveness by granting temporary tax relief to sole proprietorships, cooperatives, general partnerships or companies classified as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises;

4. An Act to Promote Business Growth and Recovery by Reducing the Cost of Business Compliance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, amending therefor the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended;

5. A law providing for the forgiveness of all unpaid principal, interest, penalties or surcharges on loans secured by land reform beneficiaries under the overall land reform program and for other purposes;

6. A law requiring government officials and employees to execute and submit written authorization to examine, investigate, or search all their deposits and investments, thereby waiving the bank secrecy law in accordance with the laws of the Republic numbers 1405 and 6426;

7. An Act to amend Subsection (A), Section 393, Chapter IV, Title I, Book III of Republic Act No. 7160, the Local Government Code, as amended, increasing the benefits of public servants of barangay;

8. A law lowering the mandatory retirement age for Ministry of Education employees from 65 to 60;

9. An Act institutionalizing a comprehensive benefits program for uniformed personnel and other qualified members of the auxiliary services who are killed, injured or rendered physically disabled in lawful actions or operations, creating for this purpose a trust fund for comprehensive benefits program, and for other Purposes;

10. Law providing for an increase and an automatic adjustment mechanism of the staff economic relief allowance (PERA) granted to State employees;

10. Law providing for an increase and an automatic adjustment mechanism of the staff economic relief allowance (PERA) granted to State employees;

11. An Act rescheduling the December 2022 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, amending therefor Republic Act 9164, as amended by Republic Act 9340, Republic Act 10632, Republic Act 10656 , Republic Act 10923, Republic Act 10952, and Republic Act 11462, and for other purposes;

12. An Act to reinforce Executive Order No. 1097, the National Building Code of the Philippines, as amended, by mandating a comprehensive national building inspection and imposing severe penalties on building officials who violate relevant provisions of said code;

13. A law mandating full accounting of all disaster relief aid or donations received by the Philippine government for natural and man-made disasters;

14. Philippine Immigration Law;

15. An Act to amend Section 6 of Republic Act 1379, also known as the Forfeiture Act, to provide a fixed percentage of the value of property forfeited in corruption cases as additional funding for the office of the ombudsman and for other purposes;

16. An Act to Amend Section 220, Chapter II, Title VIII of Republic Act 8424, also known as the National Income Tax Code Amendment Act, as amended, and for other purposes;

17. An Act exempting the pledge of personal property covering a loan of money not exceeding ten thousand pesos from the tax on documentary stamps, amending therefor Section 199 of the National Revenue Code 1997, as amended ;

18. A law prohibiting the reappointment of a regular member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) who has already served his term;

19. A law prohibiting merchandising stores and service establishments from charging more than the cash retail price for goods and services purchased with credit cards and prescribing penalties for violations thereof; and

20. An Act providing for the automatic promotion of civil servants and government employees on retirement from the public service and for other purposes.

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