The REAL Project Team of DILG-ARMM in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Philippines conducted the REAL Project Field Assessment Findings on February 13, 2018 at the Conference Hall of DILG-ARMM, ORG Compound, Cotabato City.
The objectives of the assessment were: (a) to review and validate the data presented by the Technical Working Group (TWG) including Statement of Receipts and Expenditures (SREs) of the five (5) pilot municipalities; (b) to interview on the actions taken in municipalities’ action plan; (c) to interview on revenue increase since REAL project intervention; and, (d) to refurbish revenue map.
Different issues and concerns of the five (5) municipalities, including those of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) Region XII, were discussed for identification of action plans to address these challenges.
The Local Government Unit Integrated Financial Tool (LIFT) was presented during the activity. LIFT was an IT-based comprehensive tool to help local government plan, budget, improve revenue collection and budget execution, and audit; and, a tool to harmonize and complement the various performance management systems implement by the LGU oversight agencies (DBM, DILG and DOF-BLGF).
Business Permit and Licensing System (BPLS) framework was also discussed for clarification. BPLS aimed to: (a) simplify registration process by reducing the number of steps and procedures; (b) reduce processing times and cost; and, (3) streamlining can accelerate revenue mobilization, improve expenditure management, and increase access to finance for better service delivery and growth promotion.
Common issues and strategies to address them were presented. Among the common issues were: (a) tax map and tax value were not updated; (b) SRE data was misunderstood at municipal level; (c) information gap on target and actual collection; (d) absence of monitoring system for revenue generation; (e) limited or lack of skills for municipal staff in conducting the revenue generation; (f) database or record keeping of LGUs office; (g) lack of enabling policy for real property tax (RPT); (h) the RPT campaign requiring provincial reinforcement; (i) lack of local businessmen investing in the municipalities; culture, conflict and security; and, (j) field assessment objectives require further follow up.