THE government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $26.5-million (P1.4 billion) loan agreement earlier this month that will improve LGUs’ (local government units) capacity to generate revenue via digitized processes.
In a statement over the weekend, the Department of Finance (DoF) said Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird signed the agreement on July 1.
The loan has a 28-year maturity period, inclusive of a nine-year grace period. It will take effect this month.
The loan will help support the $29.8-billion Local Governance Reform project.
The ADB approved the loan on June 29.
Mr. Dominguez said the program will improve the capacity of LGUs to assess and appraise property values and allow them to boost revenue from real property taxes. This includes using a digital property valuation database.
“This financial assistance from the ADB… will help LGUs close the digital divide in their respective localities as they pursue property valuation and tax reforms to generate more revenues, in step with President Duterte’s goal to modernize Philippine taxation and spell greater fiscal autonomy for our local governments,” he was quoted as saying.
The program will also enhance the administrative and oversight functions of the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), an arm of the DoF, over the treasury and assessment operations of local governments.
The project also aims to train licensed property appraisers and assessors and raise property valuation methods to international standards.
The implementing agencies of the project are the BLGF; the Bureau of Internal Revenue; the Budget department; the Department of Interior and Local Government; and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. — Beatrice M. Laforga