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How to optimize Cebu City’s tax collection: Implement ‘Sayaw para sa Buhis’

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 22,2023 - 08:28 PM


Sayaw para sa buhis

The ‘Strategic Assessment of Your Assets and Worth (SAYAW) para sa Buhis’ officially launched on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at Plaza Sugbo. The project aims to optimize tax collection revenues. CDN File Photo | Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A “special task force” in the city was formed “to optimize tax collection revenues.”

The ‘Strategic Assessment of Your Assets and Worth (SAYAW) para sa Buhis’ officially launched on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at Plaza Sugbo.

“‘Sayaw’ is the Cebuano term for ‘dance.’ By its name, the tax collectors will also showcase their dancing in the efforts of collecting taxes from the people in the coming weeks,” said Clint Potestas, the program’s media relations officer.

Friendly persuasion: Dancing for taxpayers

Ofelia Oliva, project head of ‘Sayaw para sa Buhis’ and the former Cebu City treasurer, said that they launched the program to inform the public that Cebu City was “serious in collecting taxes through friendly persuasion.”

“We will dance for you,” she told the reporters on Thursday, June 22.

However, she added that it would not only be through dancing.

Persuasive coercion

In her speech, Oliva said that if taxpayers would not pay “in spite of the friendly persuasion,” they would have the “persuasive coercion.”

“Ug di gihapon mo mutuo sa (If you will not believe in) persuasive coercion. [There is] coercion. The exercise of administrative remedies and the judicial remedies in the collection of taxes,” she said.

Moreover, in an interview with CDN Digital she elaborated the friendly persuasion approach.

“Ang among tanan (approach) should be business-friendly. Ang tanan gyung acts sa tanan nakong collectors. I don’t want them to harass any taxpayer. Harassment is not my language,” she told CDN Digital.

(All our (approach) should be business-friendly. All the acts of our collectors. I don’t want them to harass any taxpayer. Harassment is not my language.)

She added that she just wanted the cooperation of the taxpayer and the support of the executive and the legislative departments of the city.

Auction of property

And to those hardheaded taxpayers, Oliva said they “will go to the auction of the property.”

“Mao na’y gitawag og judicial and administrative. Administrative, mao nanang auction of the real properties. Ang judicial, we will file a case against them, unya ang ilang mga tax declarations and their titles, among butangan og tax lien, so dili na sila ka dispose when there is a tax lien annotation,” Oliva told CDN Digital.

(That is what we call judicial and administrative. Administrative, that is the auction of real properties. The judicial, we will file a case against them, and their tax declarations and their titles, we will put tax lien, so they could not dispose when there is a tax lien annotation.)

Oliva was known for being the dancing tax collector during her term as the city treasurer from 2009 to 2011.

Division through clusters

The program has presented a new way of making tax collection more convenient to the tax collectors and taxpayers through their satellite offices.

The 80 barangays in Cebu City are divided into six clusters in order to maximize the collection.

The following are the cluster numbers and their corresponding barangays:

  • Cluster 1: Lahug, Apas, Capitol Site, Kamputhaw, Kasambagan, Hipodromo, Luz, Mabolo, and Carreta.
  • Cluster 2: Punta Princesa, Labangon, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, Sta. Cruz, San Antonio, Cogon Ramos, Zapatera, Day-as, Lorega San Miguel, and T. Padilla.
  • Cluster 3: Basak San Nicolas, Quiot, Basak Pardo, Poblacion Pardo, Cogon Pardo, Kinasang-an, Inayawan, Bulacao, South Road Properties.
  • Cluster 4: Cambinocot, Lusaran, Paril, Adlawon, Agsungot, Mabini, Taptap, Guba, Binaliw, Sirao, Pulangbato, Pit-os, Malubog, Budlaan, Busay, Banilad, Talamban, San Jose, and Bacayan.
  • Cluster 5: Tagbag-o, Tabunan, Sudlon 1, Sudlon 2, Sinsin, Buot-Taup, Pungol Sibugay, Babag, Bonbon, Pamutan, Subangdaku, Kalunasan, Buhisan, Toong, Mambaling, Pasil, Suba, Duljo, San Nicolas Proper, Pahina San Nicolas, and Sawang Calero.
  • Cluster 6: Guadalupe, Pahina Central, Ermita, Kalubihan, Kamagayan, Parian, Sto. Niño, San Roque, Tinago, Tejero, and Cebu Port Center.

Satellite offices

Moreover, the satellite offices are located inside the malls in Cebu City. Cluster 1 will be located in Ayala Central Bloc, cluster 2 is in City Mall, cluster 3 is in SM Seaside, cluster 4 is in Gaisano Country Mall, cluster 5 is at the City Treasurer’s Office, and cluster 6 is in Robinsons Galleria.

As of the moment, besides the City Treasurer’s Office, the only satellite offices that are operational are the offices in SM Seaside and Robinsons Galleria.

Oliva said that the taxpayers will be paying through their designated satellite per cluster, except for those who will pay via online payment since they could pay it anywhere.

With regards to the dancing tax collectors, the program’s media relation officer told CDN that they will be seen outside the satellite offices very soon. However, he did not provide a date yet since they were still working on the other offices to operate.

Leaders per cluster

In an interview with CDN Digital, Cebu City Treasurer Mare Vae Reyes said that the cluster leaders will focus on their assigned clusters.

“Daghan man gud kaayo ta’g delinquencies, so iyang focus (cluster leader) kani ra gyud nga barangay. Iyahang itan-aw like first notice na ka, wa ka nicomply. So second notice dayun mi.  Kay kung di pa gyud, i-forward namo’g city legal for show cause pero that’s the time nga it’s either moheed sila sa show cause order… worse comes to worse, mofile ta’g kaso. So, focus gyud sila,” she said.

(We have many deliquencies, so their focus (cluster leader) is only this barangay. He will look into the first notice, you cannot comply. So we give you the second notice right away. Because if not, then we will forward this to the city legal for show cause because that is the time it’s either they heed the show cause order…worse comes to worse, we will file a case. So we’ll just focus on that.)

She said that it might not be manageable if only one division would handle it.

“Although mocoordinate gyud sila sa main division, but sila gyud ang delivery sa notices. Focus gyud sila sa kanilang mga barangays,” she told CDN.

(Although, they should coordinate with the main division, but they really are for delivery of notices. They should focus on their barangays.)

The following names are the cluster leaders provided by Reyes:

  • Cluster 1: Zosima Sebes
  • Cluster 2: Julieta Cuenca
  • Cluster 3: Sandra Po
  • Cluster 4: Maria Teresa Collin
  • Cluster 5: Julieta Marquita
  • Cluster 6: Juanita Monina Paires


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TAGS: dance, Task Force, taxes

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