The past year saw the evolution of the Bureau of Local Government Finance from a mere organizational unit of the Provincial and Municipal Finance Division of the Department of Finance to its present status as a Bureau. The former unit was restructured into Local Government Finance Division consisting of 35 personnel. On September 24, 1972, three days after the declaration of Martial Law PD No. 1 was enacted to effect reorganization and administrative reforms in the government machinery. Thru this Decree, the Local Government Finance Division evolved into Local Government Finance Service composed of two divisions, namely: the Local Treasury Operations Division and the Real Property Tax Assessment Division.
On July 17, 1974, PD No. 509 was issued creating a Local Tax Ordinance Advisory Board which was composed of 15 positions to become an integral part of the Local Government Service. This Decree was enacted in response to the urgent need to create a body which would assist the Secretary of Finance in the review of the new and revised ordinances; to handle or decide cases of protests or complaints of taxpayers, request for advice, proper interpretation of certain codal provisions and other related matters.
On December 21, 1977, PD 1266 was enacted to provide for the establishment of the Regional Offices of the Department of Finance and to further restructure the Local Government Finance Service into the Office of the Local Government Finance. This Decree was aimed at providing effective mechanism for the implementation, coordination and monitoring of national and local fiscal plans and programs at the local levels. The Office of Local Government Finance, headed by a Director and two Assistant Directors for Local Fiscal operations and the Real Property Tax Administration, exercise direct supervision over the regional offices of the Department, as well as local treasury and assessment offices at the provincial, city and municipal levels.
The issuance of Executive Order 766 on January 7, 1982 effected the turn-over of supervision of Real Property Tax Administration (RPTA) Program from the then, Ministry of Local Government and Community Development (MLGCD) to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) including the technical and administrative support of the project together with the personnel, appropriations, equipment and records. The transfer of the administration of RPTA Project was a result of evaluation of the project conducted and the consensus of the agencies directly involved in the project – rationalizing the MOF as the agency responsible for the administration of the real property tax as provided under the Real Property Tax Code (PD 464).
In view of this development and the increase of Real Property Tax Administration (RPTA) projects that the OLGF was implementing, a division created under the said Office – the Local Finance Projects Management Division – which was mandated to implement and/or to supervise the implementation of all foreign-assisted projects administered by the Office. Ad hoc RPTA project management offices at all levels were created to effectively carry out the administration of RPTA projects.
The urgent demands of national economic recovery after the 1986 February revolution necessitated changes in the organizational and functional structure of the bureaucracy. Hence, on January 30, 1987, by virtue of Sec. 43 of the Executive Order No. 127, the Department of Finance was reorganized, and the Office of the Local Government Finance was elevated to a Bureau, headed by an Executive Director and assisted by two Deputy Directors. The structure of the Bureau was adapted accordingly to provide for the workforce required to carry out its expanded functions supportive of the national development objectives. On July 25, 1987, Sec. 40 and 41 of Executive Order 292 promulgated the Administrative Code of 1987 which stated that the Regional Offices of each operating Bureau under the Department of Finance should be under the technical supervision and control of the head of the Bureau to which they belong.
At present, the BLGF Central Office is composed of five major units – the Internal Administration Office; the Local Finance Policy Enforcement Service; the Intelligence and Investigation Office; the Field Operations Examination Group; the Special Projects Management Service and fifteen Regional Offices. The Bureau has a personnel complement of 116 in the Central Office and 280 in the regional offices at present.
The Bureau was functionally structured along the Department’s Domestic Finance Group together with Bureau of the Treasury; Financial and Fiscal Policy Planning Office, all under the supervision of the Undersecretary of Finance for Domestic Finance.