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PIA Press Release

PGMA enjoins league of governors to join BIR's LGU Assurance Program, commends Calbayog City

Manila (February 14) -- President Gloria macapagal-Arroyo enjoined all provincial governors to join the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)'s LGU Assurance Program which will start in better collections of both national and local taxes, as illustrated by the experience of Calbayog City.

Speaking before some provincial governors gathered ar the Villa Del Rey, Capitol Complex where she delivered her keynote address at the opening of the 2nd General Assembly of the LPP, the President said that, "we need to work harder and more effectively in improving the tax effort together. I ask our governors to join the BIR's LGU Assurance Program which will result in better collections of both national and local taxes, as illustrated by the experience of Calbayog City."

She said she would support the Department of Finance (DOF')s efforts to help the LGUs improve capacities to plan and budget, as well as deliver better services for the general welfare their constituent communities.

The program, she added will support reforms in (i) intergovernmental fiscal relations; (ii) fiscal management, planning and public expenditure at the LGU level; (iii) LGU performance measurement and service; (iv) credit financing; (v) local-own source revenue.

She also assured the chief executives that she has ordered a surge in infrastructure spending as a firewall against the economic slowdown in the United States and as a springboard for further growth.

Similarly, the president stressed that vital infrastructure includes building up our environment as a reflection of the commitment to the quality of life. People need to breathe clean air and swim in clean water while the government builds manufacturing and bridges. These programs and activities mirror how the Governors have operationalized the theme - "Enhancing National and Local Government Partnerships in Improving Environmental Governance and Natural Resources Stewardship."

The President also mentioned the government's effort to address climate change, " From rising tides, to changing weather to deforestation and pollution of air, sea and land, the challenges of climate change are great. As a nation made up of 7,000 islands, rising seas due to global warming takes on a whole new meaning. Florida may lose some coastline, we lose a nation. Our response to this grave challenge may sound humorous, but our intent is deadly serious: we must work together to solve this problem. If we do, it will be one of the great achievements of our partnership."

"We aim to make our economic reforms permanent so that our nation is on a sustained path of economic growth and stability," PGMA said.

"We have turned the economy around and for the first time in a generation, we are investing hundreds of billions of pesos in human and physical infrastructure. Roads, bridges and airports as well as new schoolbuildings and scholarships are the central building blocks that are necessary for the long term prospects of our citizens," she added.

The President also took pride in the latest upgrading by Moody Investors Service from stable to positive.

"An aggressive foreign policy is essential to the lifeblood of the Philippines. Nowhere is it more important than protecting and advancing the interests of our overseas workers. That is why we include a governors' representative in my trips abroad," PGMA added.

Finally, the President folded up her speech by beckoning all the governors to unite with her and " continue to work together for a Philippines that will be ready to be in the First World in 20 years." (PIA-Samar) [top]

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