Revilla pushes for fund increase of LGUs’ public health services

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Sen. Bong Revilla

MANILA, Philippines — A bill has been filed in the Senate making mandatory the imposition of 20-percent ad valorem tax on idle lands, ensuring funds for the local government units’ (LGUs) public health services.

Sen. Bong Revilla filed Senate Bill No. 1202, appropriating funds generated from the additional ad valorem tax on idle lands to the special health fund (SHF) of the city or municipality where the land is located.

Under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the annual tax on idle lands is five percent of the assessed value of the property, in addition to the basic real property tax.

Currently, the imposition of the idle land tax is optional on the part of the local government units (LGUs) concerned.

The bill aims to encourage real property owners to put idle lands into productive use, considering that land resources are getting scarce, Revilla said.

“Land owners and developers that opt to keep private lands idle and unproductive should, in exchange, share in the burden of the public health care delivery through an enforced tax contribution,” he stressed.

Under the measure, Revilla proposed that the local health boards manage the SHF to be collected from ad valorem tax on idle lands.

“The SHF shall be exclusively used to upgrade the facilities and equipment of local hospitals, rural health clinics, lying-in clinics, emergency hospitals, nursing homes and other health institutions found in cities and municipalities,” Revilla said.

The SHF under Section 20 of RA 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act, finances population-based and individual-based health services being implemented city-wide or province-wide by LGUs. It also covers the operating costs, capital investments, and remuneration of additional health workers and incentives for all health workers.

In case of component cities and municipalities, 20 percent of the proceeds of the additional ad valorem real property tax on idle lands shall be allocated to the SHF of the province in which the land is located. (STACY  ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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