Mandaue chamber backs plan to increase realty tax

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


MANDAUE Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Philip Tan expressed support for the Mandaue City Government’s plan to update its schedule of fair market values (SMV), which will mean higher real property taxes.

The City Treasurer’s Office and City Council are set to hold public consultations for a measure raising the City’s SMV, which hasn’t been updated since 1989, by 3,000 to 4,000 percent.

“We are not against taxation. But if the City increases taxes, it has to make sure it will deliver better services, like giving us better roads and putting an end to the problem of flooding,” Tan told reporters in a recent interview.

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The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) included Mandaue in its latest Tax Watch advertisement calling out cities with outdated SMVs.

According to the advertisement, which is part of the BIR’s name-and-shame strategy to raise tax revenues, the City has not updated its SMV since 1991.

But lawyer and City Treasurer Regal Oliva pointed out in an interview that the City still collects real property taxes based on the SMV set in 1989 yet.

To come up with an updated SMV, personnel of the City Treasurer’s Office and the City Assessor’s Office underwent workshops and trainings under the Land Administration and Management Program of the World Bank and the Bureau of Local Government Finance.

The City Council approved the updated SMV last year, but further consultations with the affected stakeholders are required for its final approval.

Tan said he supports the move, saying updating the SMV is “within the bounds of law.”

He added that investors now do not only look at taxes when considering a location for their business ventures. “Businessmen now look at the business environment, which includes the infrastructure and the availability of support services,” he said.

He commended Mayor Jonas Cortes for always involving the business sector in planning the city’s development. “It really boils down to good governance,” he said.

Tan spoke during the launching of the City’s effort to get a certification from the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The City has started the process of getting the certification by applying a method of organizing an efficient an effective workplace called the 5S.

The 5S refers to sort, systematize, sweep, standardize and discipline.

Being certified by ISO means an organization practices a high standard quality management system.

Department of Trade and Industry 7 Director Asteria Caberte, during the launching at City Hall, said cities in the Philippines should improve their competitiveness with the impending economic integration among the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The full integration, expected next year, will mean free flow of goods among the member countries.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2014.

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