ON THE first day of the 2020 budget deliberations, Cagayan de Oro City councilors turn their attention to the millions of uncollected real property taxes (RPT) of the local government.
According to the City Treasurer’s Office, unpaid taxes under the RPT still amounts to P600 million.
City Councilor Edna Dahino, acting chairperson of the committee, expressed concern that the city will miss the projected income this year.
From January to November this year, the total revenue collection is still at P3 billion out of the P6.3 billion budget while collection under the special account is also still at P249 million.
“The committee was asking asa ni nga income, how are you going to finance or achieve kung walay klaro kaayo nga strategies, asa nato kuhaon ang expenditures. Sa RPT, naay collection pero we are pushing them to collect more para magamit sa syudad,” she said.
Dahino said the city should hit its 2019 revenue collection otherwise the P7.5 billion budget would be unrealistic and difficult to attain.
City Councilor Enrico Salcedo also laments the “weak and slow” RPT collection.
“In 2013, ang delinquent almost 1 billion, sa 2014 gamay ra improvement hangtod 2015 luya gyud ang collection. Kining pag-issue sa demand letters sa una raman ni nila ginabuhat, hinay gyud gihapon,” he said.
City Budget Officer lawyer Percy Salazar said they are confident that they will hit the target in December, the month when big companies are expected to pay their tax obligations.
In the previous years, the city government’s RPT collectibles reached P1 billion but in 2018, the City Treasurer’s Office was able to collect 50 percent from it, reducing the unpaid RPT to 600 million in 2019.
Veronica Fernandez, overseer of the real property task force under the treasury office, said they are eyeing to collect about 60 percent of the unpaid RPT this year.
Fernandez said they have already sent out demand letters to companies and vowed to achieve the 60 percent target before the year ends.
City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, for his part, assured that they will aggressively implement efficient tax collection in 2020.
“Dili na dapat old ways ang pamaagi sa collection, anyway naa naman programs on RPT that we still cannot divulge but in behalf of the management committee, we assure you that in 2020 we will implement the collection aggressively and we will meet our target,” he said.