The Development Administration Committee (DAC) XI convened for its 2nd quarter CY 2022 meeting on June 8, 2022 via Zoom, presided by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) XI Regional Director and DAC XI Chairperson Alex C. Roldan.

The status on the updating of the Local Revenue Codes (LRC) by Davao Region Local Government Units (LGUs) was presented by Local Treasury Operations Officer (LTOO) III Sherill Daquiz of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) XI. It was explained that the LRC reflects the tax policy of an LGU and a carefully crafted one can provide a means of financial autonomy for the LGU, in which they can generate enough revenue and become less dependent on the National Tax Allotment (NTA), formerly the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA). The LRCs should be updated every five years as required by the Local Government Code. LTOO III Daquiz reported that as of May 2022, 55 percent or 30 Davao Region LGUs have updated LRCs, while 15 percent (8) of the LGUs’ LRCs are ongoing revision. Meanwhile, 30 percent (16) of the Davao Region LGUs have outdated LRCs. Delays in the LRC updating were attributed to the pandemic, election period, and the series of earthquakes in the region, which affected the timetable and work arrangement for the LRC updating. Opposition from the taxpayers and stakeholders, as well as lack of commitment and political will of some legislative members were also cited as challenges encountered in updating the LRC.

The status of the LGU Property Assessment Schedules was presented by Acting Local Assessment Operations Officer (LAOO) IV Jell Vie Gualberto of BLGF XI. The property assessment schedule is the approved schedule of unit base market values for different classes of real property in the LGU. This is used as basis for the appraisal and assessment of real properties, and for local and national property-related taxes. The property assessment schedule must be updated every three years as provided by the Local Government Code. In Davao Region, only the provinces of Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental have updated their property assessment schedules out of the 11 provinces and cities. Issues encountered in the updating include lack of mechanism for data gathering such as budget, personnel, equipment, deferment of approval by the City or Provincial Council on the proposed schedule, and delay in the conduct of public hearing.

BLGF XI recommended the appointment of more personnel, specifically in the Assessor’s Office, and the full support of the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and the City/Provincial Councils for the updating of the property assessment schedules and the LRCs. Another recommendation was the inclusion of the updated LRCs as an indicator in the Seal of Good Local Governance. Chairperson Roldan emphasized the need for LGUs to prioritize revenue generation given the devolution of functions from the national to local government. He informed the Committee that DILG is currently enhancing its curriculum on capacity building activities related to enhancing the competencies of LCEs in revenue generation. –Pamela N. Yparraguirre, NEDA XI