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Legazpi City No.1 in Ph tax generation

By Cet Dematera

THE Legazpi City government will be receiving an award anytime this year from the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF)for landing as the No.1 in the list of top performing cities in the country in terms of local revenue collection after it exceeded by 161.2 percent the target tax collection pegged by BLGF in 2019, or before the Covid-19 pandemic took place.

Behind Legazpi City in second place is Valenzuela City with collection exceeded by 154.4 percent; followed by Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, 145.9 percent ; Cebu City, 145.1 percent; Paranaque City, 137.6 percent; San Fernando City, La Union, 137.4 percent; Navotas City, 133.3 percent; Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, 132.2 percent; and Mandaue City, Cebu, and Lucena City, with exceeded tax collection of 131.7 percent.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal attributed the high revenue collection to the city’s innovations in tax collection schemes, particularly its online e-payment using automated teller machine (ATM) credit and debit cards through the facilities of the Land Bank of the Philippine and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

“All the owners of real property and business operators in this city are now paying taxes through online e-payment services. We believe that through these online services, we are able to improve a lot our local revenue collections as these are also providing convenience to our taxpayers,” Rosal said.

Rosal said that Legazpi City bagged the number one spot in local tax collection because “we passed the criterion prepared by the BLGF such as the locally sourced revenue including collection efficiency and year-on-year growth in locally sourced revenue (LSR).”

Carlita de Duzman, Legazpi City treasurer, on the other hand said the adoption of Enhanced Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS) and the implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS) both helped a lot in the improvement of local tax collection in Legazpi City.

ETREACS is an automated assessment of taxes and other business fees while the GIS produces thematic layers for planning and identification of delinquent tax payers and business operations.

De Guzman said the BLGF under Department of Finance (DOF) pegged a tax collection of P439.83 million for 2019, but Legazpi has collected P708.96 million or exceeded the target by 161.2 percent.

She noted that the continuously increasing number of giant investors and other business establishments operating in this city for the past years have contributed to the hefty tax haul.

De Guzman said that her office is always reminding the tax payers through airing in the local radio stations to pay their taxes on time to avoid penalty.

“We are just waiting for the notice from the BLGF regional office to receive the certificate of recognition,” De Guzman added.

The awarding of the top performing cities in local revenue generation was stalled for over a year due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

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