LAPU-LAPU City awarded its top 20 corporate taxpayers on Friday, crediting them with boosting the city’s economy and making it one of the most competitive cities in the

country.

Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort emerged was the city’s top taxpayer in 2009, the fourth consecutive year that it has garnered the award.

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“Taxes are making the world a better place,” said Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa general manager Joachim Schutte during Friday’s Lapu-Lapu Investors’ and Taxpayers’ Night.

“Road works, marine protective system and other support infrastructures will not be possible without taxes,” Schutte said.

He said taxes improved Lapu-Lapu and made it the second best city to do business in.

General Milling Corp. was the second biggest taxpayer, followed by Lear Automotive Services (Netherlands) Corp.

Top companies

Other top corporate taxpayers include Taiyo Yuden Philippines Inc., Taipan Development Corp., Gaisano Capital-Mactan, Plantation Bay Holdings, Corp., Hilton Cebu Resort & Spa, Oikonomos International, Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc., Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino Inc., Pentax Cebu Philippines Corp., Phil. Long Distance Telephone Co., Lexmark International (Phils.) Inc., Fairchild Semiconductor (Philippines), Maitland-Smith Cebu Inc., Celestica Philippines Inc., TMX Phils., Inc, Olympus Optical Technology Philippines Inc., East Asia Utilities Corp., Big Foot Properties, Inc., and NKC Manufacturing Philippines Corp.

Lexmark, TMX, and Aboitiz Foundation Inc. were also given special awards for corporate responsibility for education, for their projects that help students and schools in the city.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza expressed gratitude to the top 20 taxpayers for their investments on the city.

“You are the major players that drive the economy of Lapu-Lapu,” Radaza said. She assured investors that the taxes they pay will contribute to the development of Lapu-Lapu.

Radaza pledged to develop the city’s tourism industry further, crediting it as the economic driver that propelled the city to be the second best city to do business in.

She said that upon her assumption to office, she called for a tourism summit that was attended by the different stakeholders of Lapu-Lapu.

Radaza also issued an order to enhance the duties and re-organize the tourism commission, to give the private sector and barangays bigger representation in the body.

“This is in consonance with my firm belief that a responsive partnership between the business and the local government can make tourism a catalyst for economic growth of our city,” Radaza said.

She said City Hall has also re-organized the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council to give more representation to coastal barangay officials.

She also ordered the creation of the Coastal Sanitation Team, a barangay-based system meant to ensure cleanliness and protection of shorelines.

Projects

Radaza also reported that the Hoops Dome, an 8,000-seater arena, is in the final stages of its construction. She said the dome will be the biggest venue for indoor sports events and entertainment activities in Cebu.

She said that the soon to be constructed City College is in its serious planning stage, along with the Mactan Seaview Boulevard, which will be constructed between the two bridges.

She said the city has set aside funds for the construction of tourist police assistance centers in key tourist destinations in the city.

She also reported that they are fast-tracking the expropriation of land in the Basak-Marigondon area to continue the road widening to lessen traffic congestion in the city’s major roads.