THE share of the barangays from the internal revenue allotment (IRA) is set to increase next year by P7.5 billion, the most cogent reason why hordes of grassroots politicos are interested in running in the October 28 barangay elections.
But Sen. Ralph Recto defended that the IRA share of barangays is a “necessary frontline expense.”
From this year’s allotment of P60.5 billion, Recto said, the 42,028 barangays will be getting P68.3 billion next year which they can use in providing services to their constituents.
“The barangays are our first responders. Whether it is a fire or a youth rumble or domestic quarrel or a theft, the first distress call is sent to and responded by the barangay. When there is trouble in the neighborhood, you don’t call the Army, you call the tanods,” Recto said.
Under the formula set by the Local Government Code, the national government gives back to local governments 40 percent of internal revenue collections which in turn is shared among LGUs with barangays receiving 20 percent, provinces 23 percent, municipalities 34 percent and cities 23 percent.
He explained that the current IRA share of these local governments is determined on basis of internal revenue taxes collected by the national government three years ago.
“In short, it is a rebate to the grassroots,” Recto explained.
As to the operating expenses of the Sangguniang Kabataan, whose officers will also be included in the Oct. 28 ballot, Recto said they will get 10 percent of the barangay share from the IRA which translates to P6.8 billion next year, or an average of about P162,000 per annum per SK in 2014.
The IRA, however, is but one of the components of what is called as the Allocation to Local Governments (ALGU) item in the national budget which for 2014 has been allocated P360.5 billion.
Other items in the ALGU are the shares of local governments from tobacco excise tax collections and taxes from mining and other extractive industries, and the budget of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, among others.