MANILA CITY – The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) showcased the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Local Governance Reform Project (LGRP) through a virtual roadshow participated by more than fifty-six (56) local government units (LGUs) out of the one hundred twelve (112) preliminary qualified target pilot LGUs for the Output 3 of the Project, last 08 November 2022, via Zoom. This is in efforts to enhance the real property taxation capabilities and practices of the selected partner LGUs. The selection criteria for identification of the pilot LGUs was approved thru a resolution issued by the LGRP’s Interagency Governing Board (IGB) – operating as a high-level project steering committee by virtue of Administrative Order 40, series of 2021, dated 27 April 2021.

The roadshow featured the benefits, deliverables, and objectives of Output 3, and highlighted as well the deliverables of Output 2, which focused on the development of IT systems that is aligned with technology related initiatives, database and programs of the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Land Reform Authority (LRA). The linking would enable LGUs to update their Schedule of Market Values (SMV), automate the real estate appraisal and assessment for taxation purposes, collection and billing system for real property taxes (RPT).  It is expected that the merging of the efforts and deliverables from Outputs 2 and 3 would facilitate the operationalization of the LGRP’s reforms on the ground, as the project’s best practices, systems, and policies are cascaded nationwide, consistent with the whole-of-government approach pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11032 otherwise known as the Ease of Doing Business

The four (4)-year LGRP’s holistic overview was also presented which kickstarted way back in 2001 through the decades-old Philippine Land Management Reform Roadmap.  The Project leverages from the gains of the outputs of the various land management reform initiatives through the years, in terms of policy improvements, standards and practices pertinent to real property valuation and taxation as well as land governance.  In addition, the LGRP supports the Department of Finance (DOF)’s legislative reforms vis-à-vis the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package (CTRP) 3, as it aims to strengthen the sub-national government’s ability to generate own-source revenues to fund the delivery of its local developmental programs, which has been expanded by virtue of the devolution of more public services (i.e. at the local level) consequent to the additional fiscal transfers brought about by Supreme Court decision viz. the Mandanas case.

In closing, the Bureau expressed its gratitude to the participating LGU representatives’ interest and enthusiasm towards the LGRP and for their unrelenting support to the ongoing and future programs and advocacies of the BLGF and the DOF, in partnership with the ADB.