LGUs will have a huge windfall in additional allocations from their Internal Revenue Allotments as a result of the Mandanas ruling but the problem has always been their absorptive capacity given their lack of qualified technical personnel to undertake
projects which involve capital outlays, particularly infrastructure development. The answer is BRAVE. The Budget Reform for Village Empowerment Act is legislation sponsored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson in the Senate which seeks to allot automatic funding from the national budget
directly to LGUs from the provincial down to the barangay level. The unique provision of the proposed legislation is it will not be under the control of the Executive and neither will the Congressmen in each of the districts at the LGU level will have any say in the allotment and
disbursement. The NPC-Reporma Presidential candidate has made the passage of this bill as one of his priority measures before the end of the Duterte administration. BRAVE aims to establish Local Development Funds at each LGU level based on the following scheme; Provinces - P500M
- P1B per annum, Cities - P100M to P200M per annum, Towns/Municipalities - P50M to P100M million per annum and Barangays - P3M to P5M per annum. This will not be on a lump-sum basis as the class ranking for each LGU will determine the percentage allotment out of what is budgeted.
The amount of LDF for each province, city or town shall be based on the following criteria: 50 percent of the prescribed amount for first-class LGUs,
60 percent of the prescribed amount for second-class LGUs, 70 percent of the prescribed amount for third-class LGUs
80 percent
of the prescribed amount for fourth-class LGUs, 90 percent of the prescribed amount for fifth-class LGUs and 100 percent of the prescribed amount for sixth-class LGUs. The specific provision which can help in the capacity-building process is the establishment of the LGUs
Comprehensive Development Plan which shall be staffed by competent technical personnel. The other provisions of BRAVE have built-in safeguards in order to prevent the misuse of the funds for other projects, including that which are funded by national government departments and
agencies. In addition to this, there is also the stipulations which provide for A yearly performance review of the LGUs' implementation of their programs will be held. LGUs deemed unsatisfactory may have their LDFs slashed by 50 percent the following year, and terminated in case
A yearly performance review of the LGUs' implementation of their programs will be held. LGUs deemed unsatisfactory may have their LDFs slashed by 50 percent the following year, and terminated in case of two successive unsatisfactory performances. Meanwhile, a web-based
A yearly performance review of the LGUs' implementation of their programs will be held. LGUs deemed unsatisfactory may have their LDFs slashed by 50 percent the following year, and terminated in case of two successive unsatisfactory performances. Meanwhile, a web-based
monitoring system will be adopted. Information accessible to the public may include funding/cost, location, contractor, progress status, number of beneficiaries, date of completion and responsible government official, of the PAPs. A Congressional Oversight Committee will monitor
and oversee the implementation of the provisions of this Act. The Committee shall be composed of five members each from the Senate and House of Representatives. It will be chaired by the Chairpersons of the Committee on Local Government from both the Senate and House of
Representatives. Also, a sunset review of the law will also be held after five years or as the need arises, to determine remedial legislation. For its part, the Local Government Academy will establish a continuing capacity program for LGUs, to make sure LGUs are capacitated to
plan and implement development projects. Sen. Lacson's BRAVE Bill will pave the way for increased development of the regions once passed. But at this point, the good Senator should also address the issues presented by the Mandanas ruling which has no control mechanisms at the LGU
level. The additional IRA allotments could possibly be the source of graft and corruption by unscrupulous local officials at that level. Surely, Sen. Lacson is aware of such a possibility. Lacson has made it known in one forum that he is not looking at increasing or imposing
additional taxes on Filipinos if he is elected President. Lacson emphasized that he would focus on the efficient and productive use of public funds in order to serve the public better.

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