NCC Wants Mandate Returned to NG

Article excerpt

This developed after a survey funded by the International Finance Corp. on Doing Business in the Philippines 2008 showed that the ease of doing business varies among the country's highly urbanized 21 cities.

The report addresses how cities can improve their business environments by sharing and adopting best practices. It is the first subnational report of the Doing Business series to study the Philippines and was produced in partnership with the NCC and the Asian Institute of Management and Policy Center.

David L. Balangue, private sector co-champion of the transaction cost and flows working group of NCC, explained that the purpose of the amendment to the Code, which gave LGUs fiscal autonomy, is to enable the national government to impose the adoption of best practices and the use of technology to improve LGU operations and encourage more business to locate in the countryside and create more jobs.

Balangue said that the 21 cities surveyed only showed that LGUs have yet to fully adopt best practices and technology to improve their operations.

"There are certain things that have to be driven from the center," Balangue said but stressed that, "We are not referring to the fiscal autonomy but only on mandating certain processes and the use of technology like a national super computer to streamline the procedures of LGUs nationwide."

Balangue cited the controversy faced by Hanjin's $ 2 billion investments involing the local government of Misamis Oriental as a case in point..

Already, the Department of Trade and Industry, which is co-chair of the NCC, is supporting the overhaul of the Local Government Code. The World Bank also expressed support to the review of the local government code.

DTI Undersecretary Zenaida C. Maglaya in a talk with reporters said the Local Government Code is "very counter productive".

"We would like to bring in competition into the picture," Maglaya said.

Maglaya said that the current law has focused on giving LGUs the autonomy when it comes to fiscal perspective like revenue generating and becoming selfreliant in the most immediate manner.

She explained that revenue raising should be a long term perspective but LGUs are rather looking at it as an immediate measure. …