TO IMPROVE the city's fiscal condition for the 2011 budget, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia is pushing for the resurrection of the controversial Revised Revenue Code of Bacolod City as contained in City Ordinance 474, Series of 2008.

Leonardia has taken the initial steps for the code's resurrection as contained in his memorandum dated August 4, 2010 addressed to all department and office heads where he informed them of his fiscal direction for next year.

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The calendar year 2011 proposed budget will be formulated to improve the provision of basic services to all Bacolodnons, prompting the mayor to lay down his fiscal policies in line with the budget's thrust for 2011.

These include the re-passage of the Revised Revenue Code of Bacolod City, taking into consideration the concerns of the business sector and other important concerns of the city that will provide accessibility of basic services.

The Revised Revenue Code of Bacolod became controversial last year when businessmen who are owners of Ace Hardware Philippines, Mainstream Business, Inc, Star Appliance Center Inc, SM Prime Holdings Inc, Surplus Marketing Corp, Supervalue Inc, and Watsons Personal Care Stores (Phils) Inc filed a case against Leonardia, Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and the City Council of Bacolod before the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Justice.

The complainants claimed that the subject tax ordinance is void and illegal for being contrary to the provisions of the Local Government Code. They argued that the ordinance was passed without complying with the requirements of publication, written notice and public hearing under Section 187 of the Local Government Code.

They also claimed that the ordinance failed to comply with the posting requirements under Section 511 of the LGC concerning ordinances with penal sanctions and that it violated the requirement under Section 191 of the LGC that any increase in tax rates should not exceed 10 percent of the rates fixed under the Code.

On April 17, 2009, former Justice secretary Raul M. Gonzales issued a resolution declaring City Ordinance 474, series of 2008, as illegal for its non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of a tax ordinance under the Local Government Code and its Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR).

The City of Bacolod has a Tax Ordinance No. 93-001, an ordinance enacting the Revenue Code of the City of Bacolod of 1993. They again passed City Ordinance 492, an ordinance that repealed City Ordinance 474, series of 2008 otherwise known as the Revised Code of Bacolod City. (Carla N. Canet)