SOME divisions of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) will be temporarily transferred to the SM City Cebu starting Monday, July 29, 2019.
These will be the business taxes division, real property tax division, cash receipt division and business permit and licensing office.
This is to pave the way for the construction of the mayor’s office on the first floor of the executive building, said CTO acting head lawyer Jerone Castillo.
The temporary office will be located on the second floor of the mall in the space formerly occupied by the Visayan Electric Company. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Castillo said the rent at SM City Cebu is P92,932 a month.
He said they already conducted a dry run and their systems there are already functional.
Castillo hopes the financial center, which is located a few blocks from the executive building of the City Hall, will be completed in August so they can move there.
Castillo said they want all finance components of the City Government, such as the treasury, budgeting, assessor’s, accounting, as well as the payment of establishments at the South Road Properties to be housed in one building.
He said there is already an executive order regarding the matter.
The three-story Cebu City financial center will provide a bigger space for the transacting public.
“We are doing this so that the taxpayer will have a convenient place during their payment,” he said.
He assured the public they are moving in the direction of a system-based governance, which means they will develop soon an integrated computer system that will connect data from different departments.
“We will develop one consolidated integrated system connecting the data from the treasury to assessor, assessor to accounting and treasury to accounting,” Castillo said.
Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a separate interview, said having all divisions in one building will make it more convenient for taxpayers.
The transfer also aims to decongest City Hall, he said.
The mayor also said taxpayers and business owners will soon be able to pay their taxes directly at accredited banks, such as the Philippine National Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Bank and Development Bank of the Philippines.
Labella said the City has to heed President Duterte’s call to make it easier for the public to transact with the government.
“We have to have a business-friendly atmosphere,” the mayor said. (JJL)