Key officials and personnel of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), headed by Deputy Executive Director Ma. Pamela P. Quizon and Director Ricardo L. Bobis, Jr., underwent a week-long workshop in Baguio City, from 08 to 12 November 2021, to finalize several policies on local taxation, data analytics and statistics, and local government unit (LGU) credit financing.

The Policy, Planning, Programming and Standards Division (PPPSD) led the workshop on finalizing the local fiscal policies that would address the issues of taxpayers and stakeholders on the imposition of local taxes, fees, and charges on service contractors, condominium corporations, and on idle lands, among others, as some LGUs require the BLGF’s opinion in resolving the said complaints, which runs contrary to the Ease of Doing Business Agenda of the Duterte Administration.

In streamlining the issuance of Certificate of Net Debt Service Ceiling and Borrowing Capacity (CNDSC/BC) for LGUs, the Local Debt Monitoring and Evaluation Division (LDMED) proposed improvements in its evaluation process of documents, especially the requirements involved to better conform to the current conditions and incorporate the discussions made with key investors, borrowing LGUs, and the general public.

On the other hand, the Local Financial Data Analysis Division (LFDAD) has specified enhancements in the LGU Integrated Financial Tools (LIFT) and Environmental and Natural Resources Data Management Tool (ENRDMT) Systems, which will further improve data governance, disclosure and accessibility of local fiscal data and financial performance.

As a result of the workshop, the quality and timeliness of local financial datasets are expected to improve. Once completed, stakeholders from national government agencies, academes, development partners, and researchers may easily access the improved local financial data and performance analysis on the BLGF website.

The workshop concluded with the critiquing of the draft policies and workshop outputs, led by Executive Director Niño Raymond B. Alvina, where he provided directions and strategies for the timely submission of the Bureau’s recommendations to the Secretary of Finance.