Leni: Mandanas ruling should be used to empower the people
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday said that the Mandanas ruling, which gives a bigger Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to local government units (LGUs) is a great opportunity for them to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents.
The Mandanas ruling refers to the 2018 decision of the Supreme Court on Mandanas et al. v. Executive Secretary, et al. (G.R. Nos. 199802 and 208488) that the IRA, which is the share of LGUs in national taxes, should be computed based on all national taxes and not just national internal revenue taxes.
“Napakalaking opportunity sya kasi talagang lolobo yung kanilang IRA. Pero having said that, lalaki yung opportunity, pero kailangan kasing maayos ‘yung roll out para ma-harness yung lahat ng opportunities available,” she said.
The Vice President added that the implementation of the ruling requires close coordination between LGUs and the national government to ensure that the former will not be left alone to handle the delivery of basic services to the people.
Robredo expressed hopes that the infusion of additional funds would pave the way for the people’s direct participation in the budget process. Her late husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, implemented the Bottom-up Budgeting program (BUB) during his term, which she sought to institutionalize with the Participatory Budget Process Bill she filed when she was still in the House of Representatives.
“Kasi parati ko naman itong sinasabi na yung mga solusyon sa problema on the ground, dapat manggaling sa mga taong apektado. Halimbawa, iyong mga mangingisda, they are among the most marginalized o pinakamahirap. Ano ba yung nararapat na mga programa sa kanila? Dapat hindi kaming mga pulitiko yung nagpaplano nun. Dapat binibigyan namin ng mechanism yung mga mangingisda mismo na maging bahagi sila ng proseso para yung mai-roroll out na programa sa kanila, nanggalin din sa kanila,” said Robredo.
The Vice President expressed her belief that direct participation of the people makes government programs more responsive, as well as encouraging government officials to do better because they work together with ordinary citizens.
“Advocate ako ng people’s councils kasi ang pakiramdam ko kailangan nagproprovide tayo ng espasyo, nagproprovide tayo ng spaces for people to directly participate in governance, and etong Mandanas ruling is a very good opportunity for that,” Robredo said. (end)