CLARK FREEPORT – The alleged wrong interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution has resulted in a huge shortfall in the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of local government units (LGUs) amounting to P1.84 trillion from 2009 to 2014 alone.
Bataan 2nd District Rep. Enrique “Tet” Garcia Jr. said the insertion of the words “internal revenue” in Section 284 of the Local Government Code (LGC) is “patently unconstitutional” causing the wrong interpretation of the law resulting in a huge shortfall.
During the “Balitaan” forum organized by the Capampangan In Media, Inc. (CAMI) at the Bale Balita here in cooperation with the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and the Social Security System (SSS) last Friday, Garcia said it should be “National Revenue Allotment (NRA)” instead of “Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).”
Garcia said he has sent a letter to President Aquino but it has remained unanswered up to now. “I have sent a personal letter to the President which up to now has remained unanswered. That’s the problem with PNoy… noynoying,” Garcia told members of the media referring to Aquino’s penchant for delaying tactic on matters of great importance.
For 2014, Garcia said his province alone has accumulated a shortfall of some P1.46 billion. The Bataan solon said an en banc petition to the Supreme Court with him as the sole petitioner was already filed last August 28, 2013 urging the High Tribunal “to declare as unconstitutional Section 284 of R.A. 7160.”
Garcia said even with him as the sole petitioner, he has the support of the LGUs of his province but sadly he revealed, the League of Provinces is timid in supporting his petition. Named as respondents in the SC petition were Executive Secretary Francisco N. Ochoa, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio H. Abad, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim S. Henares, and then Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffino B. Biazon.
Garcia explained that “the shortfalls in the collection of taxes/duties, tax diversions and delay and/or non-remittance by unscrupulous accredited authorized banks (UAAB’s”) of their tax/ duty collections could easily exceed P100 billion annually.”
He said “these are made possible by the defective and obsolete tax collection system that the government refuses to modify.”
In this context, “the government, specifically the Department of Finance is primarily to blame for these problems that have persisted since the early ‘80s when the present system of collecting taxes and duties through banks was first instituted,” Garcia said.