BACOLOD City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia justified his move to push anew for the passage of the city's Revised Revenue Code, as contained in City Ordinance 474, series of 2008.

He said that it is just a matter of properly re-introducing the code to the public, especially to the business sector.

He said that it will not be a sign of good governance to just leave the old code as it is.

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"Our rates based on the 17-year-old Revenue Code are obsolete. There are even rates where Candoni, a fourth class municipality, charges higher than Bacolod City, which is a highly urbanized city," Leonardia explained.

Some councilors gave him the feedback that many businessmen are receptive to the idea of changing the old Revenue Code, according to the mayor.

"It will be neglect of duty on our part if we will not change the Revenue Code. We need to keep up with the demands of the times. Bacolod City is fast growing and the needs and demands of our people are getting more sophisticated,"

Leonardia said.

He cited that Iloilo City is consistently increasing its rates by revising its revenue code.

He said that even when the Revised Revenue Code was introduced the last time, many businessmen have paid the city under the adjusted rates. "How much more if the Revised Code is properly presented to them?" Leonardia added.

There was only a miscommunication between the Finance Committee and the City Council when the Revised Revenue Code was drafted where the increase will only be 10 percent. But the tax base was made higher and so the increase was more than 10 percent, he said.

But Leonardia appealed to the public and to the business sector that "anything and everything that we will do here will pass through a public hearing. It will not be done in haste. Let's just have an open mind as to the implementation of the Revised Revenue Code of Bacolod by next year."

Leonardia had already instructed all department and office heads regarding his fiscal direction for next year, which will include his new fiscal policies for 2011. These include the re-passage of the Revised Revenue Code of Bacolod City. (Carla N. Cañet)