Zamboanga City to lose P170M in IRA in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 September 2011 17:26

Zamboanga City is bracing for a P170 million reduction in its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share in 2012 primarily because of the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities and the low tax collection by the national government in 2009.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said the city government has already been advised by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other concerned agencies regarding the IRA reduction starting January next year.

Two reasons that attribute to the IRA cut are one, the collections in 2009 (LGUs get IRA from collections of the last 3 years) are lower than the collection in 2008 and two, the conversion of 16 municipalities into cities even without passing the requirements set under the law.
Of the over P170 million expected reduction, P136 million will be lost due to the creation of the new cities.

Mayor Lobregat admitted that the City’s Finance Committee is having difficult time in the prioritization of the projects and programs since this is the first time that the budget has been reduced since he assumed as chief executive.

“Since I sat down as mayor it (budget) has always been up and up, so we are looking at what we can do to sustain the budget,” he said stressing that the finance committee has been meeting several times even on weekends and holidays just to go over the accounts and come up with a well-planned budget at the earliest possible time.

Among the things to consider, according to the mayor, is the implementation of the 3rd tranche of the salary standardization law for government workers starting January which would mean that allocation for personnel services will have to surge.

Another thing is the hike in the prices of gasoline or fuel which will affect the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE).  The mayor said the committee is also trying to find ways to ensure that infrastructure projects lined up for implementation will not be affected.

“A decrease of almost P200 million in IRA compared to 2011 is a big loss,” the mayor lamented.
Consultations with various city departments, schools, trial courts and other agencies that receive assistance from the local government have already been concluded.  Next week, consultations will resume in the barangays. — Sheila Covarrubias