TREASURERS of local government units are now required to include in their quarterly and annual financial reports to the Department of Finance (DOF) all environment and natural resources revenues and expenditures, particularly payments made by mining and other extractive industries to their respective local governments.
In a statement on Thursday, the DOF explained that since 2011, local treasurers have been required to report to the DOF on a quarterly and annual basis the fiscal and financial operations of their respective LGUs through the electronic Statement of Receipts and Expenditure (eSRE) system.
Under Department Order 049-2016, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd has mandated local treasurers to include in their regular eSRE reports, from here on, all payments made by extractive industries along with the detailed account of the shares from national wealth and their local governments’ expenditures using the receipts/collections from these businesses and from the development and utilization of national wealth.
Other monetary and non-monetary benefits received by local governments from extractives industries must also be included in their quarterly eSRE reports to the DOF.
“It’s high time for local treasurers to properly account for what the extractive and related sectors contribute to local economies, and how the local communities benefit from them and from the utilization of their natural resources,” Dominguez said.
Under the new directive, local treasurers will submit their reports through a web-based Environment and Natural Resources Data Management Tool (ENRDMT), which is a data management system associated with the eSRE system that is being maintained by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF).
The said bureau is a DOF-attached agency, while the eSRE is the official fiscal and financial management reporting system for the LGUs to DOF. Local treasurers are required to prepare and submit their reports to the DOF and BLGF on a quarterly basis, and their consolidated annual reports at the end of each year.
The development of the ENRDMT was supported by the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), and the Philippines Poverty-Environment Initiative (PPEI) under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, according to BLGF officer-in-charge Niño Alvina.
The BLGF, in coordination with the DOF and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), is leading the training of trainers and rollout of the new policy on the web-based reporting platform from October this year to February 2017.
Meanwhile, Department Order 8-2011 mandates the official reporting and monitoring of all local governments’ fiscal and financial operations via the eSRE.