The League of Cities of the Philippines has accepted the membership of only five new cities that are qualified, but none from the 16 newly created ones, its president San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez said Saturday.
Rodriguez said they accepted the five qualified cities during their National Executive Board Meeting in Bacolod City Saturday and they will pass this in their general assembly in December.
“I think, by December, everything will be clear. There might be no motion for reconsideration on the part of the LCP concerning the 16 cities. Therefore, it might be timely for us to already address the problem, and decide whether or not to accept their membership into the LCP,” he said.
Rodriguez said there was a violation of the Constitution when the 16 municipalities were converted into cities since they failed to obtain the area, income and population requirements.
The Constitution requires that the conversion must be in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Code, he said.
Under the LGC, as amended, to be converted into cities, municipalities must meet all the requirements.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez said there were three things the mayors agreed upon during their meeting Saturday and this includes the payment of taxes to the local government.
“It is our contention that the payment of taxes should be made in the LGU where the investor company is operating, or having a factory, or obtaining its income. But what is happening now is that the income is in the local (government) but the taxes are remitted to the national government, which is unfair, because what are being used are local facilities, he said.
Rodriguez said they have also passed a resolution involving the implementation of the law that allows LGU 100 percent retention of its collection.
He said that, under P.D. 1906 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, they are obligated to remit 20 percent of their collection to the national treasury.
Under the LGC, however, the retention of the LGU should be 100 percent of its collection, Rodriguez said. So there seems to be a contradiction, and that is why they passed a resolution concerning the matter, he said.
On the other hand, Rodriguez said that if they obtain a loan either from local or international lending institutions for their projects and programs, there must be a corresponding monitoring board opinion before they can be allowed to obtain a loan, and this has caused unnecessary delays.
He said it is a very stringent restriction to confront on the part of the LGU and, at the same time, delays the process of answering the problem in their areas.
Rodriguez added, their position is to revisit, either put a cap, or a specific period for the monetary board to give an opinion, or remove this requirement if the loan is with respect to a local infrastructure project.*CGS