‘Bobom’ welcomes World Bank IRA division proposal

‘Bobom’ welcomes World Bank IRA division proposal

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URDANETA CITY – Mayor Amadeo “Bobom” Perez IV welcomed the suggestion of the World Bank that rich cities in the country should have a reduced internal revenue allotment and give instead the portion of it to the less developed cities.

Perez said this could spawn more progress to a lot of cities like Urdaneta.

“Mas maganda para mas marami tayong magagawa. Big cities are already developed. Maganda ang kalsada nila. Sa atin sa probinsiya puede pa nating gamitin ang funds sa mga irrigation at kalsada. Puede i-dugtong papuntang TPLex ( Tarlac-Pangasinan Express Way ) di ba? Marami pa tayung magagawa diyan, he stressed.

Bert Hoffman, WB country director in the Philippines, was quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer saying that one way to achieve a more balanced allocation of resources and ultimately development is to revise the way the internal revenue allotments (IRA) are distributed among local government units to favor the less developed towns and regions.

He cited as an example Quezon City that gets a much larger share than most others even though its coffers are already filled to overflowing.

The result of it is the deepening of the disparity among local government units and the scandalous misallocation of resources which sees some rich cities building marble barangay halls or prettifying sidewalks at a cost of tens of millions, while poor towns cannot even afford to hire doctors or nurses, Hoffman said.

Perez cited as an example the city of Makati which he said it does not depend on the IRA as it has enough taxes like business tax to spend for its development.

He explained that additional revenues to this city could make a difference.
“For example itong school houses natin, maraming sira, sa kanila (rich cities) magaganda. Yong pondo ilagay natin sa mga school buildings, at sa mga barangays,” he said.

Hoffman argued that this stalemate can be achieved by amending the Local Government Code, a task our lawmakers should address quickly if they intend to reverse the gross inequalities that are the principal source of disaffection and discord—even violence— among the Filipino people.