WITH the Cebu City Government and Abuhan Filipino Cuisine reaching a compromise agreement, would this mean that the restaurant can now apply for a business permit for its new restaurant on Juana Osmeña St.?
A brief and stern “no” was Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s reply when reporters raised the question during a news conference last Friday.
“I don’t feel it is appropriate to set a policy that if you get caught not paying taxes, all you have to do is pay and then you can reopen. Alkanse jud ang syudad. There has to be heavy penalties,” he added.
Last Tuesday, Abuhan closed its branch on F. Ramos St. days ahead of the effectivity of the closure order that Osmeña issued, ordering management to shut down not later than Nov. 30.
Acting City Treasurer Tessie Camarillo said the mayor agreed to enter into a compromise with the management to settle its unpaid taxes amounting to P979,466.50 since 2014 and the voluntary closure of the restaurant ahead of the closure date that the City imposed.
Of its P979,466.50 unpaid taxes, Abuhan already paid the City P422,877.50 last Nov. 20. It will settle the balance of over P500,000 through installments in the next six months.
But even with a compromise agreement on the table, the mayor said that apart from a non-issuance of a business permit, he will also not allow the management to reopen, even in a new location.
“(I will) not gonna allow them to reopen. But to compromise because they can’t pay everything, sige nalang. That’s not my recommendation, but the treasurer’s. If you don’t pay your taxes, you’re closed and will stay so,” Osmeña said. “If you’re caught with no business permit, we’ll close you down and you can’t reopen. Maybe for two years or three years. But clearly, it’s not acceptable that all you have to do is bayad okay na. Unfair kaayo na sa mga taw who are paying on time religiously,” he added.
The restaurant is managed by Jose Antonio Osmeña, a relative of the mayor.
SunStar Cebu tried to get the comment of the Abuhan management but calls to its contact numbers were left unanswered. (RTF)