DOF, DILG issue guidelines on setting reasonable LGU fees

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The Finance and Interior departments have issued guidelines on reasonable rates for regulatory fees and service charges imposed by local government units.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 22) — The Finance and Interior departments have issued guidelines on reasonable rates for regulatory fees and service charges imposed by local government units.

The DOF said on Monday that Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano signed Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2019-01 as part of ongoing government efforts to improve transactions, in line with the Ease of Doing Business Act.

The guidelines will be issued in the Local Fees and Charges (LFC) Toolkit, which covers the cost of rendering government services. These include direct fixed cost such as the price of equipment and utilities,and variable costs like salaries of personnel, cost of supplies and materials used.

The circular covers business permits, mayor’s permits and barangay clearances, toll fees, and billboard fees, among others.

According to the circular, LGUs have the option to adjust fees but these must conform to variables in the toolkit used in computing the rates.

“The revised rates shall be imposed through the issuance of an appropriate ordinance and compliance to all legal requirements including the conduct of a public hearing and publications,” the circular stated.

The DILG will implement a monitoring system to ensure the compliance of the LGUs.

The Bureau of Local Government Finance and the Philippine Tax Academy, in coordination with the DILG, will conduct the training and technical assistance programs for LGU personnel to help them review and set regulatory fees and charges while using the toolkit.

The DOF also said local chief executives are advised to issue an executive order creating an oversight committee on the revision of fees and charges, which will review, gather data and compute the appropriate rates.

The circular covers all local chief executives, vice governors, vice mayors, Sanggunian members, punong barangays, regional directors of the DILG, local government treasurers and heads of departments or offices in the LGU.