MANILA Mayor Isko Moreno took an opportunity to respond to online trolls who spread disinformation during the campaign period about the loan granted to the City of Manila after his running mate, Doc. Willie Ong, visited him at his office on Tuesday afternoon.
Moreno said the loans granted to the city were spent on various infrastructure projects.
He added that when he assumed office in 2019, he inherited a zero budget from the past administration, prompting him to find a way on how to make his promise during the campaign not to implement additional taxes.
In 2020, Moreno said he noticed the decision of the Supreme Court on the Mandanas case specifying that the share of the Local Government Units (LGUs) from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) must be computed based on all national taxes and not just from National Internal Revenue Taxes (NIRT)
“Sinasabi doon na binibigyan ng dagdag na kita ang LGUs and it will take effect on 2022. Sabi sa ruling, para hindi magulo ang pamahalaan, bibigyan ng retrieve ang gobyerno bago ito maipatupad sa 2022,” Moreno said.
He said he wrote a letter addressed to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) requesting to assess the incoming additional income of the City of Manila based on the Mandanas Law but the request was turned down since the total population based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing was not yet completed.
The mayor wrote again and requested to provide the city an estimate income, not in 2020, but on the 2015 National Census in which the DBM replied with a rough estimate of P1.3 billion yearly.
“So, kinausap ko ang Landbank na pag-aari ng gobyerno, pati na ang Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) at inilatag ko sa kanila ang mga plano ko na pagtatayo ng mga condominium bilang vertical housing, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects. Sa ginawa kong approach, nagkainteres sila kasi merong new source of income ng hindi kinakailangang magdagdag ako ng buwis,” Moreno said
He said that in less than a month or two, the documents were processed and they were given a standby loan and Manila City became bankable.
The construction continued even at the height of the pandemic creating jobs for many Manilenyos who were displaced due to the lockdowns.
“Ang nangyari, yumaman ang Maynila dahil yung mga itinayong building ay pag-aari ng Maynila. Asset ang tawag doon. May utang ba tayo? Kapag tiningnan mo sa libro, meron, pero technically, wala tayong utang kasi sila ang nagbigay ng pautang, pinagkatiwalaan tayo, nakatipid tayo within 10-years at nagkaroon pa ng trabaho,” Mayor Isko said. By EDD REYES