A Capitol official estimated that with the implementation of the Mandanas ruling, which bestows on local government units (LGU) bigger budget share and responsibilities, Bohol’s annual budget for 2022 would hit at least P4.1 billion, which is significantly higher than the P3.3 billion regular budget for 2021.
According to Provincial Budget Officer Peter Retutal, Bohol has a national tax allotment (NTA)—formerly called the internal revenue allotment (IRA)—of P3.3 billion for 2022.
The NTA plus local fund sources from various revenues will comprise the total budget for next year.
“Siguro maka revenue ta og between P800 million to P1 billion locally so mao na posibli ang total budget nato next year would be playing around P4.1 to P4.4 billion,” said Retutal.
“Depende na sa projections, apil sa mga hospitals kay dako man pud sila og projected revenue,” he added.
Retutal explained that with the Mandanas ruling, LGUs’ NTAs will comprise collections from import duties and other levies by the Bureau of Customs on top of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s tax take.
However, while LGUs will enjoy a bigger NTA, functions of the national government will also be transferred to LGUs to mitigate the strain caused by the ruling on national coffers.
“Dili na siya ikalipay nato ug sa tanang LGU kay ang pares ana, ang ilang mga function sa national na gi assist pa nila nato sauna, ilang pud ng e-devolve,” he said.
Annual budget for Bohol in 2021 was at P3.3 billion, but this was supplemented with a P1.2-billion loan.
According to Retutal, the Local Finance Committee (LFC) started deliberating on the proposed allotments for the Capitol’s offices on Wednesday with Governor Art Yap leading the proceedings.
So far, 24 offices under the provincial government have presented their proposed budgets.
Of those that have presented their proposals, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office had the largest requested allocations.
Both offices were expected to have larger budgets due to the Mandanas ruling and a subsequent executive order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte ordering national agencies to fully transfer the task of delivering basic services to local governments by 2024.
“Mao niy manga dagko kay mao man niy naay gi-devolve na function from the national,” said Retutal.
However, the national government has yet to complete its devolution transition plan which would supposedly guide Capitol offices in preparing their budgets by highlighting which executive functions will be transferred to LGUs.
Retutal added they will deliberate next week the allotment for health services and hospitals, which are also expected to get one of the largest chunks of the annual budget.
“Mo break sa ta ron kay grabe among marathon the resume next week,” he said.
The LFC has until October 16, 2021 to submit the proposed budget to the Provincial Board. (R. Tutas)