Bangsamoro block grant comparable to IRA of LGUs; PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 February 2014 17:01

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel on Thursday assured local government units (LGUs) outside the envisioned Bangsamoro territory that the block grant that will be released to the region will not be taken from their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), stressing that LGUs will even benefit from the development projects to be brought by the peace process.
GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and peace panel members Senen Bacani and Yasmin Busran-Lao held a consultation with North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño Mendoza, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and several mayors at the provincial capitol here.
“There will be a block grant to the Bangsamoro and this will not be taken from the 40 percent IRA share of the LGUs,” said Bacani, noting it was contained in the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
The block grant is comparable to the internal revenue allotment of LGUs. It will be sourced from the national revenue collections and released annually by the Central government to the Bangsamoro government.
According to the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, the “block grant shall be based on a formula provided in the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which in no case shall be less than the last budget received by the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) immediately before the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.”
The annex further stated that formula “shall be subject to review by the Central Government and the Bangsamoro Government after ten years, on the basis of need and actual revenues generated.”
The GPH peace panel shared that it is working with the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance and Department of Public Works and Highways in determining a formula based on estimates of the cost of all devolved functions. The panel will in turn propose options to the Transition Commission to assist them in drafting the needed provision in the BBL.
Currently, the allocation of the ARMM, which the Bangsamoro government will replace once the BBL is approved by Congress and ratified by the constituents, goes through a budget deliberation process and spelled out in the General Appropriations Act, Bacani explained.
But since the formula for allocation will be determined in the BBL, the Bangsamoro government will be free from the limitations of the annual budgetary processes whereby the ARMM’s budget allocation is negotiated with Congress every year.
However, revenues collected by the Bangsamoro from additional taxes as well as shares in government income from natural resources will be deducted from the annual block grants four years after the full operation of the Bangsamoro government.