LGU’s vs. states on food security – Part 2

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FedMan: LGUs, especially Provinces are 88% dependent on Internal Revenue Allotments. They have not created new revenue sources (local) nor are they collecting property taxes that are already due them. That defines them as “Tax shy” by any rational standard.

If you look at the state of our agie dev and health, two key things devolved to the LGUs and you will note a steep decline in quality of public service delivered to the farmers and the people. That is because of poor supervision of LGUs and yes, Virginia, corruption.

Will Regional Governments be as corrupt as the national and provincial levels? Maybe yes, maybe no, but with a Federal Government only needing to supervise 17 States and States only having to supervise 5 or 6 provinces it doesn’t take much to imagine how corruption can be lessened with proper supervision.

Studies show that in the Philippine context, having elected State Governments will result in government budgetary savings of at least 10%. That, plus lesser corruption means more resources for development.

taxj: How would you reconcile your seeming obsession for fiscally self-reliant states with Senator Pimentel’s promise to give them 80% of national taxes? If said fund are not given to states, what would the federal government do with it? Let PNP generals convert it to euros?

The taxing power of LGU’s is limited under the local government code. They cannot just create new revenue sources. If some of them are a bit lax with tax imposition and collection, there are many ways to make them more aggressive. State intervention is not one of them.

Indeed, agriculture and health services deteriorated a lot after the devolution, but it was definitely not because of lack of supervision. It happened because only personnel and functions were devolved. The Code did not include fiscal federalization, which as we both know is also a feature of a unitary system. This is why the DA is left with more funds than it can judiciously handle. This is why Joc-joc Bolante was able to mess around with funds intended for farmers.

Supervision is not a hedge against corruption because, then, who will supervise the supervisors? Furthermore, please rethink your idea that a federal government supervises states. It is not a feature of federalism. And, instead of creating states for purposes of supervision, why not just strengthen the DILG and Ombudsman to enable them to improve the performance and accountability of LG officials?

You say that studies show that in the Philippine context, having elected State Governments will result in government budgetary savings of at least 10%. Will you please link me to one such study? I hope you would be interested to know why I believe that federalists like you are more to blame for the widespread graft and graft and corruption and hunger in this country than Gloria herself. Please do not take this as a personal affront. I just think that, given the right information and perspective, you could be an invaluable ally in charting a sensible course for our country. Unless of course you can convince me first that yours is a better option! He he. Cheesy


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