Duterte: Closing down tax delinquents not a solution

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Friday, February 21, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said closing the establishments of delinquent real property owners is not a solution but will only create "social trouble and social issues."

Instead, the city mayor asked delinquent taxpayers to pay the city "little by little."

"It's not that easy. You just try to collect. Ano gawin mo sa hotel pag nag close yan? It will create social trouble, social issues," he said in an interview after his speech at the 81st Annual Convention and Seminar Workshop of Philippine Association of Local Treasurers and Assessors (Phaltra) held at the SMX Convention Center at SM Lanang Premier.


Duterte also said thousands of employees will lose their jobs once establishments are ordered closed.

"One billion pesos lang naman yan. You do not do that. That's not good. You just try to compromise with everybody. Pay little by little," he said.

Further, Duterte also said there are also small companies in the city that have tax delinquencies before the City Treasurer’s Office.

"What's sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. So pag binira ko yung big business, since this is equality of laws, bibirahin ko rin yung maliliit na hindi nakabayad and there are thousands of them," he said.

Based on the records obtained by the Vice Mayor's Office from the City Treasurer's Office (CTO), Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said the city has uncollected real property tax that amounted to P1,115,161,330.44, which covers only seven political districts with a total of 60,350 accounts. 

The city has a total of 11 political districts.

The younger Duterte on Monday clarified he never harassed real property tax owners, but just reminded them to pay taxes religiously.

The CTO, on the other hand, said the amount of uncollected real property tax could be due to a lapse in the encoding of payment data and the amount may not really be that big.

CTO Real Property Unit acting chief Victor Ranada said redundant or duplicated data could have bloated the total amount and that city officials are working to clean up the data.

Ranada also cited that there could have been properties that were assessed under one name and declared delinquent but were transferred to another name with the new taxpayer already having paid the amount.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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