December 7, 2022

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda is pushing for a 50 percent discount on the sewerage fees collected from business establishments for this year.

In her proposed ordinance approved on first reading in the council session last week, Tabanda stated the full implementation of Section 163 of the Environment Code which imposes the collection of sewerage fees brought additional burden to the taxpayers in the city who already suffered a huge loss of income “with a dim prospect for rebound” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tabanda said the pandemic slowed down or halted the economic activities not only locally but globally and entrepreneurs in the city continue to struggle to keep upfloat with their dwindling resources barely able to sustain their businesses and their families.

“This year has been a challenging year for everyone including the business sector.  It is the intent of this proposal to grant relief to the taxpayers who are already suffering the fiscal and economic impact of the pandemic,” she said.

The proposed discount shall be applicable only for this year and may be availed of by qualified taxpayers who have no arrears in the payment of sewerage fees in the previous years. 

The ordinance has been referred to the council’s Committee on Appropriation and Finance Cluster B (Taxes, Fees, and Other Charges) to be reviewed. 

Section 163 of the Environment Code (Sewerage and Other Fees) provides for the collection of sewerage fees from business establishments for the maintenance and operation of the sewerage system in the city in accordance with the schedule of rates per month.

The fees shall be levied and collected from the owners and/or administrators or concessionaires of establishments, private residences, apartments, commercial buildings, etc. whose domestic waste or wastewater effluents, whether raw sewage or partially treated sewage, are connected to the sewerage system of the city.

The fees provided for in the code are computed based on the number of toilet bowl and kitchen sink of an establishment or a residence. – Jordan G. Habbiling