Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MIRACLE Schmiracle

The vice-governor called for a special session this week to pass a resolution certified as "urgent" by the governor.

This was about a resolution authorizing the governor to participate in the Monetization of IRA Collectibles for Local Empowerment Program (or MIRACLE 2 Program, in short).

What happened was for fiscal years 2001 and 2004, the government worked on a reenacted budget. Because of this, there were adjustments in the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) shares of the local government units. Adjustments that were withheld until this day.

This differential amounts to P12,577,000,000.00. You read right, 12.5 Billion Pesos.

As for my province's share? It comes down to P29,602,853.00. That's 29.6 Million Pesos.

Now we are entitled to the entire amount. The Local Government Code of 1991 says so. And we were entitled to that back in 2001 and 2004, but the National Government withheld it from us.

Now it comes to us with this MIRACLE 2 Program.

Shoving down our throats is more like it.

What's happening is, National Government is saying, "We are giving you two (2) choices, we give you your 29.6 Million now; OR, we give it to you in 7 installments."

Sounds reasonable, right?

Until you read the fine print.

The catch on Option A is we get the money discounted na. You know how much the discount is? THIRTY PERCENT! 30% of 29.6 Million is around 9 Million. So, if we choose Option A, we only get 20 Million. Good bye, 9 Million, although to begin with, amin din dapat yun.

What a rip off!

The catch on Option B is that the first installment will be paid in 2009 pa. AND, we are only assured of payment while GMA is president. We are not sure if the next President will honor the payables from 2011 to 2015.

Ano ba yan?

Either way, we're screwed.

Ang sobrang nakakainis dito, pera namin yan eh. We are entitled to the entire 29.6 Million. Why can't we get it then?

I don't understand. The 1987 Constitution and the Local Government Code both say that the policy of the State is devolution and decentralization of powers. Connected to this is the automatic release of LGUs shares in national taxes. How come then does Malacanang still hold us by the balls?

Akala ko ba decentralized na tayo?

Akala ko ba devolved na tayo?

Why are we still at the mercy of Malacanang?

So, this is all pretend? The Constitution and the Local Government Code are just guides, ganun ba?

Anyhoo, according to the vice-governor, we needed the money, so the SP approved the MIRACLE 2 Resolution during the special session today.

What did I vote?

Well, I was hedging on voting for the resolution if we could negotiate the rate of discount--may be lower it to 25% (after all, each percent amounted to 300,000.00). But my proposal was shut down by the DBP and LBP representative. Fixed na daw yung 30%. Bale, take it or leave it daw.

My jaws dropped to the floor. non-negotiable?

Unbelievable. Some choice you gave us.

I abstained.

For the life of me, I don't know why we let ourselves get bullied by these people.

For related news, here are some links:



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