December 8, 2023

The city council in its April 13 special session has set to discuss in an executive-legislative meeting on April 17 the proposed measure for the amendment of Tax Ordinances 2000-001 and 2006-001.
The proposed ordinance aims to maximize the rates of business taxes allowed to be imposed by local government units provided under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 as the city government needs to raise revenues for its projects, upgrade the level of services being rendered to its constituents, and contribute to the rehabilitation of the city spearheaded by the national government.
“The rates under the LGC may not be equitable as those who have more gross income are paying less than those with lesser gross income and taxpayers with different gross income level are paying the same amount of tax,” reads the proposal.
The proposed measure also claimed discounts set under Ordinance 2006-001 on real property tax at 20 percent on January and 15 percent on February are not in accordance with the provisions of the LGC.
The proposed measure asserted the need to provide a flat rate to make the taxes equitable, update and adjust the rates as provided in the same LGC, and to also amend Ordinance 2006-001 to lessen the discount rather than increasing the market values of properties.
The body will invite the technical working group that prepared the proposed rates from the City Treasury Office to be part of the meeting, and for members of the Local Finance Committee to present all necessary data and information for the guidance of city council members.
City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said the matter will be taken up again on their April 24 session and on another special session if necessary to fully discuss and clarify all issues and concerns before proceeding with the required publication and presenting it to the affected stakeholders in a public consultation to be scheduled.
In his letter dated March 28 to the city council, City Mayor Benjamin Magalong certified the urgency of the proposed revision on business tax and other related fees for deliberation of the city council.
In his earlier letter dated Nov. 8, 2022, the mayor cited Section 191 of RA 7160, which authorizes LGUs to adjust their tax rates not more than once every five years, but the city’s Revenue Code through Ordinance 2000-001 has not been revised or updated for the last 22 years.
He said the city’s revenues have stagnated in the last 10 years, with the only considerable increase being its Internal Revenue Allotment/National Tax Allotment, and the city cannot continuously depend on these to effectively fulfill its mandate to the public.
He added revising the Revenue Code will enable the city to complete its programs and activities and serve the public with an elevated standard of efficiency. With the passage of the revisions, the revenue generated shall be prioritized for the establishment of economic enterprises embodied in the major development projects which in turn will become sustainable revenue sources, thus, deterring the need to increase taxes and fees again in the near future,
In its previous session, the city council through a resolution has granted favorable review of Barangay Ordinance 05, s. 2022 of Upper Rock Quarry “increasing taxes, fees, and charges pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.”
Section 3 of the barangay ordinance provides all stores or retailers with fix business establishments operating in the barangay and with gross sale or receipts of the preceding calendar year of P50,000 or less shall pay to the barangay treasurer the corresponding taxes in the amount not exceeding one percent on such gross sales or receipts. In the absence of gross sales or receipts, the sworn statement/declaration of sales of the owner/s, operator, or proprietor shall be used as basis for taxation.
Under Section 4, the rates of fees to be collected for the issuance of barangay clearances for employment, postal identification, certification of residency, personal purposes (good moral), travel permit per animal, and excavation and installation permit are all increased from P100 collected from 2014 to 2021 to P150.
Barangay properties enquiries fee for house and lot (information, issue and for sale) is increased from P200 to P250.
Permit to travel items, including driver’s name, driver’s license number, and vehicle’s plate number (lipat bahay) is increased from P100 to P150.
Fees to be collected for business clearances for apartments, sari-sari stores, transient computer shops, houses for rent, and other related business per unit/house is P250.
In Section 5, senior citizens, persons with disability, indigents, academic scholars, athletic and working students, solo parents, and constituents seeking medical assistance are exempted from payment of barangay clearance/certification except business clearance, provided the constituents are residents of Upper Rock Quarry.