KALIBO, Aklan – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Aklan is urging the Department of Finance (DoF) to reclassify Aklan from a second class to first class province.
SP member Rodson Mayor said the province of Aklan for the past four years from 2005 to 2008 has attained an Average Annual Income (AAI) to a level more than prescribed by Executive Order No. 249 issued on July 25, 1987 by then President Corazon Aquino and Department Order No. 23-08 of the Department of Finance effective July 29, 2008.
Mayor said Aklan is a billionaire province based on the comparative annual financial report of the Provincial Accounting Office as certified by the Commission on Audit.
In 2005, the province generated annual income of P365,434,275, in 2006 with P461,939,623, in 2007 with P515,979,364 and P650,348,960 in 2008.
Mayor said the Aklan was classified as second-class province in 2007 and every four years thereafter, the DoF through the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) reclassifies a province, municipality or city, based on its generated annual income.
Aside from Aklan, the province of Antique is also classified as second class province, Guimaras as third class province while Capiz, Negros Occidental and Iloilo are the three 1st class provinces in Western Visayas.
BLGF is one of the attached bureaus tasked to supervise local government units, especially on real property assessment and treasury, provides support through capacity building, training and policy needed to implement the Local Government Code.
The income brackets are 1st class (P450-million or more), 2nd class (P360 million or more but less than P450 million), 3rd class (P270-million or more but less than P360-million), 4th class (P180 million or more but less than P270 million), 5th class (P90 million or more but less than P180 million and sixth class (below P90 million).
“Why wait for 2011 when this province could be reclassify this year by the Department of Finance as a first-class province,” said Mayor, who openly signified during the 12th regular session to lobby with the finance officials for the reclassification.
“It is unfair and disadvantageous for the province if reclassified as first class province in the year 2011. This is an exception to DoF standing policy of reclassifying cities and provinces as stipulated in Executive Order No. 249.”
Mayor said the 2010 provincial budget approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last year includes the increase of salaries of capitol employees.
Meanwhile, the legislative council also designated PCL Aklan president Jonna Morales-Torres as chairperson of the newly created standing committee on Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities, People’s Organizations and Non-government Organizations and SP Jean Rodriguez and Raymar Rebaldo as committee members.
Earlier, the Aklan SP amended its approved Internal Rules of Procedures for 2010 to 2013 for the establishment of the additional committee.