Cebu City Treasurer’s Office promises faster transactions when financial center opens on Feb. 25
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Marissa Alegrada was just one of many who were lining up at the third floor of the SM City Cebu to pay for a community tax certificate, otherwise known as a cedula, at the SM City Cebu.
Alegrada, a professional, noticed that the time it took her to get a cedula this year was way longer compared to last year when payments were done at the Cebu City Hall.
She said that this year, it took her twice the time to get a cedula.
“Nakabantay gyod ko sa una nga di man to ing-ani kadugay magkuha og cedula. Taas naman kaayo ang linya ron,” she said.
(I noticed that getting a cedula did not take this long before. Now the line is too long.)
In January 2019, it took an average time of seven minutes to get a community tax certificate through easy online application in Cebu City. This is based on records of the City Treasurer’s Office.
CDN Digital monitored the time this year and recorded an average of around 26 minutes to process a cedula at the payment center in SM City Cebu.
This year, payments were done in the mall after the city, on July 2019, temporarily transferred most of the business services to third floor of the SM City Cebu and the application has reverted to manually filling of forms.
The transfer was done after Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella wanted to use the original finance office at the City Hall as the mayor’s office.
Alegrada believes the longer line this year has something to do with the unavailability of the e-application for cedula at the Cebu City government website, thus the manual filing of forms.
Labella’s appointed Acting City Treasurer, Laywer Jerone Castillo, said the delay may also be because more people are getting community tax certificates this month, which is the month for business permit renewals.
He said there has been no official order to stop using the e-cedula for online application. But Castillo said there may have some technical issues with the program because of limited resources at the offsite office.
“We will look into that ngano wala sila naggamit sa e-cedula (why they are not using the e-cedula), but I’m sure there is an explanation,” Castillo said.
Castillo said these minor inconveniences will be smoothened out once the financial center opens on February 25, 2020 across the Cebu City Hall and beside the Senior Citizens Park.
“When we transfer to the financial center, everything will be digital,” said Castillo.
He urged the public to be patient as everything in the financial center will be more convenient and comfortable for faster transactions.
“It will be another slow transition, but our goal is really to make the processes easier,” said Castillo. /bmjo
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