Lobregat urges barangays to increase local revenues
Zamboanga City (September 3) -- Mayor Celso Lobregat has exhorted barangay officials to undertake initiatives to improve local revenue collection stressing that increased income would mean more projects and programs for the people.
Lobregat issued the call during the second of a series of forum on barangay fiscal administration held at the Culianan National High School with participants coming from 28 villages covering the Bolong to Culianan districts.
The mayor noted that local revenue collections of most of the barangays ranged only from P60, 000 to a little over a hundred thousand, which represented less than 50 percent of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
"You should concentrate efforts on local collection", Lobregat urged the barangay officials stressing that to be less dependent on IRA should be a priority of the different barangays.
He said barangay councils should find ways and means to improve local collection such as passing ordinances regulating the use of covered courts.
He lamented that the P150, 000 local government assistance to the barangays for the construction of multi-purpose pavements is over 50 percent more than the revenue collection of most barangays.
His administration, he said, is trying its best to be less dependent on IRA by increasing revenues, such as the fair market value and other forms of taxes, initiatives, which are unpopular to the people.
For the past three years, the city's dependency on IRA shares has gradually decreased.
Lobregat initiated the series of forum on barangay fiscal administration since his assumption into office four years ago in a bid to assist the 98 barangays on budget preparation covering both the expenditure program and revenue collection campaign.
The forum held recently involved the barangays of Bolong, Bungiao, Busay, Cabaluay, Cacao, Culianan, Dulian, Bungiao, Guisao, Lamisahan, Landang Gua, Landang Laum, Lansones, Lapakan, Manalipa, Manicahan, Mercedes, Pangapuyan, Pasilmanta, Pasobolong, Salaan, Sangali, Talabaan, Taluksangay, Tictabon, Tolosa, Tumalutap, Victoria and Zambowood.
The other barangays in the west coast and the central part of the city will have their forum this week.
Lobregat brings along his department heads to the barangay forum, which is also a way of bringing the city government closer to the barangays. (PIA 9/CIO) [top]