Already approved in third and final reading, the Provincial Board of Palawan, through a resolution, requested the Department of Finance (DoF) for income reclassification of Sofronio Española from second class to first class municipality.
The resolution was passed by Board Member Ryan Maminta and addressed the request through Finance Sec. Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez.
The author explained that the reclassification of the said municipality shall serve multiple purposes such as to increase the maximum tax ceilings imposable, to determine administrative and statutory aids, financial grants and other forms of assistance to local governments and to increase the salary rates of allowances, per diems, and other emoluments that the LGU officials and personnel may be entitled to.
The Municipality of Sofronio Española has a land area of 473.91 sq. km. and is classified as a second class municipality based on DoF Order No. 23-08.
The proponent requested DoF for reclassification noting that Section 9 of No. 23-08 states that the Secretary of Finance shall have the authority to review the income ranges provided in the EO at least four years after its implementation and to recommend other classification of LGU’s may continue to conform to prevailing economic conditions and the overall financial status of local governments.
According to Maminta’s resolution, the local government units (LGU’s) are classified based on their average annual income for the last four years immediately preceding the reclassification,based on the Executive order No. 249 dated July 25, 1987.
Annual income is defined under EO No. 249 as one consisting of the revenues and receipts by provinces, cities, and municipalities from regular sources of the local general and infrastructure funds including the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) and specific tax collections.
Last 2016, the IRA of Sofronio Española is P120,180,648, in 2017 is P137,356,355, in 2018 is P147,574,070 and rose to P164,510,089 last year.
“The IRA alone of Sofronio Española for the last four years satisfy the average annual income requirement of P15,000,000 to qualify as a First Class Municipality,” the resolution reads.
Section 2 of 1987 DoF order describes that first class municipalities are those that have obtained an average annual income of P15,000,000 while the second class municipalities are those that have obtain an average annual income of P5,000,000 or more but less that P15,000,000. Through the given data, the author reiterated that Sofronio Española is very much appropriate to be reclassified.