Reforms lined up to back autonomy

In the runup to the complete implementation of the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling that will devolve local government units autonomy by 2024, the Department of Finance said more reform measures will be implemented.

“First of these is the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform, which is a priority bill of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos. This aims to establish a just, equitable, and efficient real property valuation system,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during a recent gathering of Leyte and Samar mayors.

The real property valuation reform will enable LGUs to optimize revenue collections and promote genuine local autonomy, the secretary said.

Adjustment of the income thresholds and regularization of the review of the income classification of all provinces, cities and municipalities through the LGU Income Classification bill will keep LGUs finances in step with development.

Wider insurance cover

Also in the pipeline is the LGU Property Insurance bill that seeks to widen the scope of the insurance coverage of LGUs to protect their assets and the communities against significant losses due to extreme weather events and other disaster risks, Diokno said.

“Other improvements will come from the simplification of the rate structure of local business taxes; assigning more revenue-productive taxes to LGUs; and providing a mechanism for administrative recourse in case of dispute related to LGUs’ taxing powers,” the secretary added.

Diokno cited the benefits that recent game-changing structural reforms bring to local economies.

The Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or CREATE cut the corporate income tax rate by 10 percentage points for domestic micro, small, and medium enterprises, and 5 percentage points for all other corporations.

“We invite you to take advantage of these investment-friendly reforms to spur more business and job creation in your respective municipalities,” Diokno said.

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