BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the importance of passing the updated revenue code by the City Council that will be useful in generating additional revenues to be plowed back to the people through the implementation of more high-impact development projects and significantly improve the delivery of basic services to the people in the city’s 128 barangays.
The local chief executive stated that the local government has always been reminded by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) to update its current antiquated revenue measures but he does not understand why the members of the council refuse to act on the pending matter.
“It is time for the local government to have an updated revenue measure so that we will be able to comply with the provisions of the Local Government Code and generate additional resources for the benefit of the greater majority of our populace,” Domogan stressed.
Under the law, local governments must update their respective schedule of market values for real property taxes every three years while their business taxes must be updated every five years.
In the case of the city, its schedule of market values was last updated in 1996 while its business tax measure was only updated in 2000.
Domogan expressed optimism that the local legislative body will be able to pass the updated revenue measures by the end of the year so that it could already be implemented by 2017.
According to him, it is unfortunate that the major reason why the updated revenue measures could not be passed is the politicians desire to protect their respective political careers, instead of them acting as city council members concerned with looking at legislating measures to address the welfare of the city’s constituency, like instituting measures to generate more revenues to meet the increasing requirements of barangays for development projects and improved delivery of basic services.
Domogan also admitted anotherreason why the city continues to lag behind in terms of competitiveness, particularly in economic dynamism and government efficiency, is the failure of the local government to update its revenue measures to conform to the current standards.
He reiterated the fact that taxes are the lifeblood of the national and local governments and it is the duty of local officials to look into the capacity of the city to be able to meet the needs of the people, and the capacity of the taxpayers to pay their obligations to the city without sacrificing the interest of the ordinary citizens.
Domogan again appealed to the members of the local legislative body to seriously consider acting on the pending proposals to reasonably increase the city’s existing revenue and be at par with similarly situated highly urbanized cities in the country in terms of revenue measures.
By Dexter A. See