LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Illegal businesses in this town have been shut down.

In a bid to put into place tax payments the Bontoc Business Task Force (BBTF) ordered the closure of 27 establishments without business permits.

Desiree Sokoken, Information chief, said records show the number of registered businesses in the town is now pegged at 754 based on records of the Municipal Licensing Office.

Last week in a two-day operation, the task force went around the four central barangays issuing closure orders to business establishments that have failed to obtain permit to operate from the municipal government.

Prior to the issuance of the closure orders, the business establishments had been given notices to comply with requirements.

Of the 27 that were ordered closed, only 10 decided to legalize their business operation, and applied for a business permit.

The local government is calling on all who plan to open their own businesses to obtain the necessary license first so as to make their operations legal.

Sokkoken said an intensified tax information drive is likewise ongoing in the town in a bid to improve Real Property Tax (RPT) collection.

Sokkoken said records show in 2013 there was a P266,236.79 collection which increased in the first quarter of the year with a collection of P280,909.12.

However, of all the tax revenues being collected by the municipal government, RPT collection has had the lowest returns, which may be due to a lack of awareness from local folk to pay their dues.