Will UMRA be a solution to the unwarranted strain on the fiscal position of LGUs?
The US Congress passed the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1995 to limit the number of unfunded federal mandates imposed by the federal government on state and local governments. No proposed bill, which contains any such mandate imposing a direct cost on a state and local government, may be sent to the full chamber without a corresponding appropriation. Their Federal agencies must study and assess the full cost and fiscal implications of all proposed new regulations to state and local governments and the private sector before issuing them.
In our country, both the Executive and Legislative branches continue to impose unfunded mandates that require LGUs to perform new tasks, functions, programs, and projects over and above those already provided under the Local Government Code, including the creation of new mandatory local positions or structures with minimal or no additional funds to be provided by the national government to LGUs for fulfilling such requirements.
The imposition of additional mandates to LGUs without the necessary funding or earmarking of funds create unwarranted strain and creates more problems to the already difficult fiscal position of LGUs. Expectant beneficiaries are also misled and short-changed as the benefits they are looking forward to, as promised by national politicians, are either only partially granted or not granted at all due to the lack of or absence of funds for such purpose.
It has, therefore, been the united position of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and its member leagues to oppose unfunded mandates in order for LGUs to be able to effectively manage their own affairs. It runs counter to the principle of local autonomy and devolution provided for in the 1987 Constitution and the Local Government Code.
Kaya’t sana, ‘UMIRAL’ ang ‘UMRA’ dito para hindi na lumaganap ang mga unfunded mandates sa LGUs!