Archive for May 9, 2011

New provincial RPT ‘excessive’- Cojuangco


Then congressman Mark Cojuangco (2nd from left) and Pangasinan's Governor Amado T. Espino (2nd from right) in a senate hearing they both attended before.By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

URDANETA CITY- The Abono Partylist, farmer leaders and businessmen found an ally against the abrupt imposition of the new provincial real property tax (RPT) this year in former 5th District Rep. Mark O. Cojuangco.

Cojuangco, in an interview by Northern Watch during the birthday celebration of Urdaneta City Mayor Bobom Perez, said the new provincial real property tax is “excessive and burdensome “ to ordinary taxpayers in the province

“The provincial government should have studied it fully before its implementation and should have also considered the economic repercussions it will bring to the Pangasinenses,” Cojuangco said.

Cojuangco further said that he was able to talk with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima about the issue and he was advised to provide him (Purisima) with documents on the provincial RPT.

“In fact, I will have a meeting with him on Monday (May 9) and we will talk about the excessive real property tax in the province,” he said.

The new provincial real property tax or Provincial Ordinance No. 146-2010 has drawn criticisms from various sectors in the province when the provincial government abruptly imposed it last January.

The ordinance was passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and approved by Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. on December 10, 2010.

In the forefront against its imposition is Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So who said in earlier statements that the new RPT which has tremendously increased at an average of 300% on agricultural lands and 500% on commercial areas, is burdensome to the taxpaying public, particularly the farmers.

So clarified in press forums he was invited as guest that he was not against new taxes provided that they are not excessive and proper procedures prior to its implementation are observed.

The ordinance was said to have been prepared in haste and that there was no prior consultation and public hearing conducted among the various sectors in the province.

In defending its imposition, the provincial government through. Espino said it is now the time that the new RPT will be collected as it has not been updated since 2003 or eight years thereafter as mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act No. 7160.

So is set to file a case in court against the provincial government regarding the new real property tax.

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May 9, 2011 at 2:53 am Leave a comment

Governor assails “moralist” Board Member



A chief of police of a town in Pangasinan is sad despite the daily dole-out of P500 a day from the operator of a gambling game Jai-Alai to his station.

During the proliferation of illegal number game Jueteng, this game’s operator did not only give meal money to policemen but gave a bigger amount to the chief, and a much bigger sum to the mayor for his personal expenses.

My other source said some police chiefs received more or less P100 thousand a month while each member of the Provincial Board received P45 thousand to P60 thousand a month. Many mayors averagely received P300 thousand a month. This not to mention some town and city mayors who received P1.2 million each as an average a month.

***

Jai-Alai operation in Pangasinan continues because of the April 7,2011 court -granted Writ of Preliminary Injunction its stake-holder filed at the Court of Appeals.

The civil case numbered 115121 is Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation versus Games & Amusement Board.

It’s about the petition of the legality of the operation of Jai-Alai in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority

The Injunction otherwise known as TRO or Temporary Restraining Order gives petitioner Meridien a legal blanket to run the controversial and acrimonious game of chance until it is lifted by the court or resolved on the the respondent’s favor.0

“The judgment on the issue whether the operation of Jai-Alai outside CEZA (like in Pangasinan) is legal or not is beyond the authority of this office because it was already raised in court,” said the memorandum from Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Rosueto Ricaporte.

***

But Secretary Bebot Villar of the Dangerous Drugs Board incessantly attacks Jai-Alai and its protector Atong Ang in his column and radio program. Villar opined that its agents (kabo in the vernacular) used it as a front for jueteng.

Villar used to be a mayor of Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan, and the head of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group under the Arroyo Administration.

***

An angry and hurt Pangasinan governor Amado T. Espino called an immediate press conference last week.

He said that from Bulacan up to the Ilocos provinces jueteng operations have been proliferating with a vengeance except in the humongous province of Pangasinan.

“Tayo ang pinaka-malinis sa buong region (We are Jueteng –free in the Region).”

The reason why he called the conference?

He felt alluded to the article of my friend Eva Visperas of the Philippine Star that quoted seasoned Board Member Alfonso Bince that influential people in Pangasinan did not lift a hand to stop the unabated issuance of mayors of permit to operators of Jai-Alai to run their business in the province.

He said Bince’s plan to call and quiz Col. Rosueto Ricaporte, Provincial Police Director, is out-of-sync.

He said the police could not do anything on the issuance thing because the mayors are the ones given power by law to issue the permit. They are, too, the boss of the police in their towns.

He said a governor does not give business permit but the mayors.

Espino continued that the news article and the statement of BM Bince were malicious and pregnant of innuendos.

“Bince has no monopoly of morality,’ he emphatically emphasized.

“He (Bince) knows who the operator of jueteng is in his district,” the tough-talking governor tersely remarked.

***

Media men who were there could only speculate.

Has Bince burned his bridge with the under siege governor?

Has Bince, a last term solon, has a moist eyes for the vice governorship?

Or he is into something that could better his stocks?

***

Recently, Mayor Gregorio “Bobom” Perez of the burgeoning Urdaneta City unveiled a P3 million huge black granite statute of a seemingly angry carabao located at the intersection of the city’s busy swanky highway that accommodates travelers to the North, South, East, and West of major cities in Luzon

The water buffalo, with a backdrop of comforting electronically operated springs of water at the foreground of a wall made of imposing black granite

too, show the bullishness of the city.

But what worries me every time I passed in that intersection is the possibility of the carabao jumping from its more that ten feet perch and run berserk and “horning” scampering and screaming travelers and commuters.

It’s my prayer that Mayor Bobom and the officials of Urdaneta leash (tali-an) that menacing animal before it could hurt unwary human beings.

***

The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) is a stupid law co-chaired and authored by former party-list congressman Neric Acosta and Senator Pia Cayetano.

Imagine, it requires each town or city to build a hundred of million of pesos worth of land-fill.

City of Alaminos for instance could not afford it if it based it on her P50 million local revenues yearly that she uses for current operating expenditures and capital outlays.

Local governments do not have practical capacity to implement this palpably impossible project whose penal provision has been imposed in February 16, 2006 .

A penal or fine worth half-a-million-pesos was not imposed by the government against local government units all over the country because it found the impracticality of its folly.

But this did not discourage the Perezes in Urdaneta.

Mayor Bobom told me a day before President Noynoy Aquino inaugurated it how he and his father chalked up a loan P220 million from Land Bank of the Philippines just to make this happen.

Now it does not only benefit his progressive city but could cater to the nearby towns and cities like Dagupan and Baguio that are beset by their own garbage dilemmas.
(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

May 9, 2011 at 2:22 am Leave a comment

Instead of incresing new taxes BRAGANZA: Go after delinquent tax payers



By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ALAMINOS CITY- Mayor Hernani Braganza said officials of the province should first run after delinquent taxpayers before imposing the backbreaking Real Property Taxes.

For more than 10 years this city has not imposed any new taxes but the revenue collection kept increasing and at present, it collects P50 million a year.

“Nuung umupo akong mayor sa Alaminos there was a discrepancy of the records between the mayor’s records and the tax section under the Assessor’s Office. There was a discrepancy of 10 thousand real property units. Iyong nakalagay sa land tax 20 thousand units. Pero may 10 thousand units na hindi nagbayad ng buwis. So kinulekta namin yong 10 thousand. Without imposing new taxes, nag-increase ang collection,” he stressed.

He gave credit to this city’s satellite feed auto-photo in identifying the delinquent property owners. He said he is willing to lend his photo technology to the provincial government for an efficient tax collection.

“Sa Alaminos alam namin kung sino ang nag-babayad at hindi nagbabayad. So ang susunod ngayon is tamang buwis na babayaran nila,” he said.

Braganza deplored how the mammoth tax rates the provincial officials imposed could give more hardships to the people in the province.

He said that the moneyed individuals like lawyers and accountants all over Luzon skirted their duty to pay the proper taxes.

He also said that the crisis in the Middle East should be a reason for the province not to impose hefty taxes to the Pangasinenses.

“Actually ang pagtaas ng presyo ng gasoline. Fluctuating presyo ng gas ang unang tatamaan and presyo ng pagkain. Pangalawa, pamasahe. Sino ang tatamaan diyan kung hindi iyong lower income bracket. Pangatlo, hindi ganoon kalaki ang mga negosyo sa Pangasinan,” he said.

He said that the new imposition by the province hit hard the individual income tax earners and not the scarce industries located in the province.

“Kung hindi ako nagkakamali ang (Northern) Cement Plant (Sison town) would be the biggest taxpayer. Iyung Ginebra (in Sta. Barbara town) malaki iyan. Iyung San Roque Dam at itong sa Sual town.”

He continued that the biggest employers in the province are the local government units unlike in Subic, Zambales, Angeles City, and San Fernando City in Pampanga where private corporations are the biggest job creators.

He said this city is quite fortunate because of its tourism industry that gives a P10 million a year to her coffer.

He said aside from the Auto-Photo that tracts delinquents, he encourages early tax payment by giving them incentives like discount as what Quezon City has been doing.

“Give 20% discount to those who pay as early as December, or the next fiscal year you will be given 20% within the 1st Quarter, we have given 15%. That in effect tumaas ang aming collection rather than bumaba. Alam mo ang tao mas ma-encourage mag bayad kung may discount. Kasi marami diyan ang epekto nang umupo akung mayor ang local collection is about P20 million. Now P50 million–local iyan! So ibig sabihin iyung new taxes alam ko kung magkano iyung kolekta mo. Now at least we know the real and true value of Alaminos when it comes to taxes. At least P50 million,” he explained.

He assailed the lacked of consultations of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) by inviting only members of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Associations of Land Brokers while excluding the farmers and others who composed the bulk of RPT payers.

“Without consultations mahirap iyun especially 300%. That’s the duty of the SP to conduct public hearing, ‘di ba? Kung wala iyon, iyon ang violation.Kung walang tunay na consultation that’s a violation!” he deplored.

May 9, 2011 at 2:16 am Leave a comment


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