|Boosting Local Revenue Collection in Maguindanao|
Residents of North Upi, Maguindanao, await their turn to pay taxes at the municipal treasurer’s office. After receiving technical assistance from USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, under its Revenue Enhancement and Progress (REAP) Project, the municipality reported a 68-percent increase in local revenue over its collection targets for 2010. Through REAP training-workshops, USAID-GEM helps selected local governments in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao to improve their own-source revenue streams in order to meet their respective communities’ development goals. Municipalities which attain their revenue targets—usually an increase of about 40 percent over and above the amount of revenue they have collected over the previous five years—become entitled to an incentive award from USAID-GEM, which may be an additional infrastructure project or some other benefit for their constituents. Of the 12 local governments being provided REAP assistance, under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority, seven have already experienced significant improvements in their revenue collection.
Published in Business World, July 12, 2011; www.thechinesenewsoflasvegas.com, July 11, 2011