THE Finance Secretary has the authority to reclassify, every four years, all provinces, cities and municipalities based on the schedule of their annual income during the last four years.
This was contained in the legal opinion issued by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima in view of the request of Mayor Yolanda Pineda’s request asking for a clarification to the authority of the Finance chief. The current Finance Secretary is Florencio Abad.
Besides this, Pineda also sought an opinion on the Finance chief’s power to readjust or revise the income ranges/benchmarks stated under Executive Order (EO) 249, series of 1987, which provided for a new income classification of provinces, cities and municipalities.
De Lima said her department already issued an opinion on the matter.
“At the outset, it is noted that the issues raised herein are, for all intent and purposes, the same as those raised in the opinion sought to be clarified which had already duly considered and commented on by this Department,” De Lima pointed out.
According to De Lima, Sections 3 and 9 of EO 249 explains the authority of the Finance Secretary to reclassify all provinces, cities and municipalities, except Manila and Quezon City.
However, De Lima said the Finance chief’s “authority with respect to revising or modifying such schedule of income or income ranges only extends to recommending such appropriate charges or revisions to the proper authority.”
“Such authority does not carry with it the concomitant power to actually revise or adjust the specific income ranges of each class to be used in the classification,” De Lima stressed.
She further explained that the law only “allows the Secretary [of Finance]to review and thereafter recommend the necessary changes or revision in the income ranges.”