Manila – The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), represented by Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Executive Director Ricardo L. Bobis, Jr., Acting Deputy Executive Director Ma. Pamela P. Quizon, and Local Fiscal Policy Service (LFPS) OIC Director Brenda L. Miranda, exchanged country-level experiences and best practices with the Indonesia’s delegation from the Ministry of Agrarian and Spatial Planning, during their study visit on 26 May 2023, at the Department of Finance (DOF) Manila.

The study visit aims to foster exchanges on learning experiences and best practices related to policies on local government revenue administration and fund management, modernization of land services and databases, agreements; thus identifying (also) the potential for Indonesia-Philippine collaboration on capacity building and technical assistance to local governments vis-a-vis land administration and management.

Prior to BLGF, the group visited DENR – Land Management Bureau (LMB), the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and DENR Region IV-A.

In a welcome message, BLGF OIC Executive Director Bobis, Jr. commended the objectives and purpose of the study visit that align with the BLGF’s vision of promoting sustainable reforms in real property taxation, valuation, and assessment; not to mention its  commitment in supporting policy recommendations in shaping the electronic land registration in Indonesia. An excerpt of said message is cited below:

I am confident that the expertise and experiences shared during this study visit will inspire you and your esteemed ministry to realize the potential of reforming land administration management and services. Together, we can create a future where technology empowers us to efficiently manage our land resources, promote equitable development, and improve the lives of our people, OIC Executive Director Bobis, Jr. said.”

Throughout the last leg of their study visit in the country, which was here at the Bureau, our delegation presented the mandates of both the Department of Finance (DOF) and that of the Bureau; the financial performance of our local government units (LGUs); the country’s data capturing and reporting systems, which consolidates reports on financial performance and real property assessments of LGUs; updates on the Local Governance Reform Project (LGRP) supported by the Asian Development Bank, including current advocacies vis-a-vis real property valuation and taxation reforms.

Mr. Hasan Basri Natamenggala, the Ministry’s Director of Land and Spatial Registration Regulation and Head of Delegation shared his insights on the learnings gained from the study visit.  Accordingly, “With this experience, we know that property tax has been one of the major keys to the development of tax revenue”, Director Natamenggala shared.

At the culmination of the event, both parties saw the potential for subsequent study visits and perhaps further collaboration — when the LGRP’s two IT systems would have already been completed and available for showcasing, for the Indonesian delegation’s further consideration.