Iloilo City is ‘financially stable’

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Friday, August 22, 2014


FORMER Iloilo City councilor Perla Zulueta affirmed that the City Government is financially stable and its financial obligations and loans had not breached the required mark to declare it as bankrupt.

Zulueta, currently a member of the city’s finance team, cautioned the business sector not to believe on announcement of critics that the city is on the verge of bankruptcy as it needs the RPT money to pay its obligation.

She made the statement to the local business sector whose representatives attended the public hearing on the proposed real property tax increase.

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“On the contrary, the city is strongly and financially stable as it has a P1.5-billion capability and paying capacity as declared by both government banks, the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land of the Philippines. The total standing loans incurred by the city is P758.7 million which is payable in 25 years,” Zulueta said.

Among these loans are the P671-million bank loan for the construction of the new seven-storey Iloilo City Hall, P58.9 million solid waste management program at the Calajunan dumpsite used in buying heavy equipment and construction of facilities, and the city’s share in developing the NHA relocation sites for informal settlers.

Zulueta admitted that the City suffered a setback in loan repayment when its share from the internal revenue (IRA) allotment fund was put on hold during the time of former President Joseph Estrada. The city’s IRA share was further and drastically sliced in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the entrance of 16 new cities.

Nevertheless, the city financial standing remained stable with its efficient tax collection system particularly in real property tax, which is mandated by the Department of Finance for local government units to have a new schedule of zonal valuation on real properties every three years.

Zulueta said the critics of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog refused to accept the truth and still peddle that the new City Hall is overpriced and costs more than a billion pesos.

“They can go and ask the bank if they are really knowledgeable and the documents will not lie,” Zulueta added.

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