MANILA, Philippines – Low local revenue collections by local government units (LGUs) results in low contribution to the Special Education Fund (SEF), which finances public school services outside of what the education department provides.
This was pointed out by the Department of Finance (DOF) and its Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) in its latest tax watch ad released Wednesday, July 2.
Section 235 of the Local Government Code allows provinces and cities nationwide, as well as municipalities within Metro Manila, to impose a 1% levy on the assessed value of lands, in addition to the basic real property tax, for the SEF.
However, out of 80 provinces (excluding the newly created province of Davao Occidental), 52 provinces collected below the average ratio of SEF to public school student, the tax ad showed.
The average SEF revenues a province could use per public school student in 2013 was P330 ($7.58).
Basilan province had an estimated SEF collection of P0.13 million ($2,981.04), the lowest based on actual local government unit (LGU) reports on total provincial SEF and municipal SEF shares.
Basilan had P3 ($0.069), the lowest estimated available SEF revenue per public school student or those enrolled in kinder, elementary, and high school within the LGU.
The highest estimated SEF collections was from Batangas at P640.55 million ($14.69 million).
It was Bataan, however, that had the highest estimated available SEF revenue per public school student at P3,153 ($72.30). It was followed by Batangas, Zambales, Cavite, and Nueva Vizcaya.
The additional 1% levy is based on the schedule of market values (SMVs) of the LGU, which is required by law to be updated every 3 years.
The SEF levy is meant to fund the “operations and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books, and sports development.”
The SEF is automatically released to the local school board of every LGU.
LGUs share in the responsibility of enhancing the quality of public school education by improving their own revenue collections to fund local education expenditures, DOF-BLGF stated.
Early in June, DOF-BLGF hit provinces for low property tax take, showing 62 of 80 provinces are reportedly using outdated basis for real property tax assessment.
“An updated SMV contributes to higher revenue generation capacity to fund education services. Improving collection efficiency increases local revenues even more,” the tax watch ad said. – Rappler.com