Integrated tax collection for Cebu City barangays

TO FURTHER intensify tax collection, the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) will partner with the city’s 80 barangays using a new digital integrated system designed to monitor businesses operating within the different barangays.

City Treasurer Jerone Castillo explained that all identified properties and business establishments will be put under one database per barangay so that the CTO will be able to monitor existing and new businesses in every area of the city.

“We will monitor per barangay so they should know the businesses within their areas of jurisdiction. We will monitor and we will consolidate per barangay,” Castillo said.

“Once that will be accounted in one barangay, that will be the record in the City level so if there is a new constuction, we will be informed,” he added.

There are about 40,000 registered business establishments in Cebu City.

Castillo said the integrated system will provide a more convenient way for taxpayers and business applicants to process their applications.

The CTO has identified Barangays Banilad and Guadalupe as pilot barangays for the new system.

As soon as the system is found to work well in the two barangays, Castillo said this will be introduced to the other barangays as well.

The City Treasurer is confident that the barangays will do their part in identifying real properties in their areas, since the barangays will have a 30 percent share of the taxes.

Aside from the digital integrated system, Castillo is also pushing for the passage of an ordinance that will grant amnesty to business owners with unpaid taxes.

If the ordinance is passed, delinquent taxpayers will only have to pay the basic taxes for their businesses and properties as the penalties will be waived.

“They will then start fresh, free from penalties,” said Castillo.

He reminded that tax offenders may face closure of their businesses if their taxes remain unpaid.

Meanwhile, operations of the business tax division, real property tax division, cash receipt division and business permit and licensing office which were temporarily moved to SM City Cebu last July, will remain inside the mall while the construction of the City’s financial center across City Hall has yet to be completed.

Castillo said the financial center’s target start of operation will be on the second week of December this year. (JJL)