MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – To enhance ensure financial sustainability and resiliency on the revenue collection performance of the province, Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan issued Executive Order No. 29 series 2016 dated October 25, 2016, forming the Revenue Review Committee and the Technical Working Group to update the existing five-year-old revenue code of the province.
As provided under Section 191 of Local Government Code (LGC), the local government units shall have the authority to adjust the tax rate as prescribed once every five years, but in no case shall such adjustment exceed ten percent (10%) of the rates fixed under LGC.
The office of the provincial treasurer deems it necessary to update and rationalise the revenue code especially for regulatory fees and charges commensurate to the escalating costs of the regulations and services provided.
The Revenue Review Committee is spearheaded by Provincial Administrator Amador P. Batay-an and Provincial Treasurer Cawed A. Gamonnac as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. The committee members are composed of the following: Oliver A. Culallad, Provincial Budget Officer; Lily Rose T. Kollin, Provincial Planning Officer; Dr. Nenita A. Lizardo, Provincial Health Officer; John K. Likigan, Provincial Agriculturist; Marjorie Q. Kiat-ong, Provincial Assessor; Atty. Tomas A. Kiwang, Provincial Attorney; and Gary A. Pekas, Representative from the Governor’s Office.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) is headed by the provincial treasurer with the following members: Rafael L. Lingbanan, Jr., Gemma Teresita R. Fateg, Randy B. Tic-chap, Florence R. Gut-omen, Concepcion A. Wangdali, Alfaretta D. Diaz, Mary Jane S. Tumapang and Dr. Penelope Domogo.
The committee shall update and finalize the draft of the Revenue Code of Mountain Province to be presented to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for evaluation and enactment following proper legislative procedures.
The governor has been pushing for amendments to the tax ordinance to maintain the province’s financial stability.
Meanwhile, Provincial Assessor Marjorie Q. Kiat-ong sought the general revision of real property tax valuation in the province in compliance with the provisions of the New Local Government Code or the Republic Act No. 7160 mandating a general tax revision of real properties, every three years.
The Provincial Assessor’s office is currently working on a new schedule of market rates and undergoing field validations of problematic real properties to come up with doable and realistic tax records.
The local officials are optimistic that the revenue collections will increase once the revenue code and tax records have been updated.
By Alfred F. Macalling