Baguio lauds top taxpayers

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


SEVENTEEN business establishments were declared Hall of Fame awardees in paying business and real property taxes to the Baguio City Government in a simple awarding program held during Monday's flag-raising program at City Hall.

Mall operator SM led the pack among businesses in the city with SM Prime Holdings (Shopping Center and Parking), Mainstream Business Inc. (Department Store) and Supervalue Inc. (Supermarket) gaining the top three spots in business tax payments for three consecutive years.

Another Hall of Fame awardee in business tax payment, Baguio Country Club, came fourth while Pilipino Cable Corporation came in fifth in payments.

Other Hall of Fame awardees in sixth to tenth place in terms of business tax payments are: contractor William Go; Coca Cola Bottlers Corporation; San Miguel Brewery; power generator Team Energy and freight forwarder Kintetsu World Express.

In real property tax payments, the top two tax payers are SM Prime Holdings Inc. for mall leasing and SM Investments Corporation for their payment of their Luneta Hill property taxes.

Newcomer in the list is Fog Horn Inc. which operates Azalea residences at third place in payment of real property taxes.

In fourth to tenth place for payment of real property taxes and Hall of Fame awardees are: Strategic Investment Development Corporation (Maharlika Livelihood Complex); San-an Investment Corporation (Cooyesan Mall); Catholic Vicar Apostolic of Mt. Province (Porta Vaga Mall); Baguio Golden Sun Corporation (Hotel Veniz); Adolfo Realty Corporation (Hotel Elizabeth); Pacific Land and Building Corporation (Abanao Square) and Ayala Land Inc. (Pineridge Condominium).

Taxes turned into services

"Business and real property taxes are the lifeblood and main source of revenue for the City Government which we also turn into basic services delivered to our people. We are proud of you while most of you are Hall of Fame awardees," Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said.

Domogan congratulated the mall operator for being the city's top taxpayer for both real property and business taxes.

While he said there are other big businesses operating in the city, they are not in the list of those which pay taxes to the local government.

"Siguro kayo na aming mga kapatid some of you might wonder why yung nasa isip ninyo unfortunately wala pala sila sa top ten taxpayers in the City of Baguio," as he called on the public to be vigilant in identifying those who continue to evade taxes.

He challenged City Government employees to show to the people that taxes collected are reciprocated with improved delivery of basic services to Baguio residents.

"The best encouragement for tax payers to pay their taxes is for them to also notice and seeing clearly that the taxes are utilized for their purpose," he said.

Speedier tax collection

City Treasurer Alicia Onoza said after first three months of attending to renewals and applications of business and real property taxes, the division was able to collect some P150 million of the P220 million target for the year.

Onoza said with the current status of collection, it is highly like the city will surpass last year's collection.

The local government also stepped up its services with the introduction of the Electronic Business Permits and Licensing System. This technology allows two to ten minutes processing for a renewal in business permit granting requirements are complete.

Onoza said the EBPLS comes full swing in June. The time allows majority of the divisions to be integrated into the system. With the city’s transition to paperless transactions, it is expected processing time will be cut significantly.

New applications for business permit, on the other hand, will still take at least three days while the city conducts a review of the requirements and conduct background investigation on the establishment.

At City Hall more than 14,000 business permits applications and renewals are accommodated yearly underlining the urgency of an improved collection and transaction system.

Addressing concerns on public relations

Meanwhile, Onoza made a resolution reminding city employees about their work attitude and how to properly treat the city's clients.

This came after reports from the City Human Resources and Management Office of seven complaints on discourtesy.

However, she called on the public to lengthen their patience especially since long lines are expected during the first quarter of the year due to the renewal and application of businesses stressing the city is doing its best to address issues in the one stop shop.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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