After years of court battle, the Supreme Court has finally ruled that the taxes and duties collected by the Bureau of Customs are considered national taxes, therefore 20% of which should be shared as Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) to all local government units nationwide.

This has been the long battle cry of long old and past legislators including the late Rep. Meniong Teves then chair of the House ways and means committee. He has been advocating for this during this time as a big additional boost to LGU revenues.

Initially what is due the LGUs is the July to December 2019 Customs duties which is estimated at P101 Billion. Proportionately Dumaguete should get around 100 Million, said Mayor Felipe Remollo, vice president of the League of Cities for Visayas.

But what is crucial is that President Rodrigo Duterte, being a long time mayor opined that its release will be in 2022. But the mayors want it soonest because new leaders after Duterte might not think its need and urgency.

Then retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, now Marinduque Governor and Mayor Remollo of Dumaguete as vice president of the League of Cities for Visayas, were commissioned to lobby and argue for its early release this year.

Remollo told the CHRONICLE that the least and LGUs can compromise is for Pres Duterte to approve the request of mayors and governors to allow Customs duties of P101 Billion
to be used as “guarantee” in government banks for the LGUs who will use these money for their priority projects this year.

The IRA is a constitutionally mandated financial allocation for local governments including all kinds of duties and taxes which are mostly collected by the BIR.

Not anymore, because included are 20% of all customs duties are ordered to be part of the IRA for all local governments, according to the June 2019 decision of the Supreme Court Remollo said. (Report from Negros Chronicle)