Tax revisions pushed to fund Cebu City’s P50B budget in 2023

By: Wenilyn Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDNDigital | November 22,2022 - 11:04 AM

Atty. Jerone Castillo. | Screen grabbed from the live stream of the public hearing.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A proposal to revise tax rates is essential to the realization of Cebu City’s dream to become Singapore-like.

This is what Atty. Jerone Castillo, Mayor Michael Rama’s assistant on fiscal reforms, said when be appeared during the third public hearing that was called by members of the City Council on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

His appearance was part of ongoing discussions on the “2022 Revised Omnibus Revenue Code of the City of Cebu.”

Castillo said Rama’s dream to make Cebu City just like Singapore is a “work in progress” that is now gaining traction.  And this can only be achieve with political will and the presence of financial capital.

To make the needed funds available, there is now a need to raise the city’s taxes, Castillo said.

READ: Rama wants P50B budget in 2023 to achieve ‘Singapore-like’ dream for Cebu City

“How is it done? of course, we need to have a budget. We cannot rely on the national government to pour in all the investments. We cannot rely on the private sector to pour in all the investment. We must have equity in that dream. Kinahanglan, mo finance sad ta. Mo share sad ta sa financial capital,” he told the council.

Castillo said there is a need to look into the legality of revising business and real property tax rates, something that is already long overdue.

The last time that the city revised its tax rates was still in 2006.

He recalled an instance in the past wherein the Commission on Audit called the attention of the Cebu City, through an audit observation memorandum, because of the city’s failure to revise its business and real property tax rates.

Revision is to be done every three years, according to the Local Government Code.

“We did not do it. We have also the responsibility to increase rates under Section 191 of the Local Government Code, but we did not do it. Now, the mayor tells you i have the political will. Kung taxation alone pa ni this is a burden, but if there is a program so noble as it is, which requires a financial capital, then that is the meaning of the rates,” he added.

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TAGS: 2023, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, P50B budget, Singapore-like, tax revisions

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