Makati has collected more than P5 billion in revenue during the first six months of Mayor Abigail Binay’s tenure, the city government reported Wednesday.
The amount is P600 million, or 14 percent, better than what the city collected for the same period in 2015 under the previous administration.
City treasurer Jesusa Cuneta said actual collections from July to December 2016 reached P5.1 billion. She cited a 30-percent increase in real property tax collection, which surpassed by P393.6 million the total RPT collection from the same period in 2015, as the biggest contributor to the collection.
Other local sources of revenue for Makati that posted an increase include business taxes, up by six percent this year to P2.5 billion; fees and charges, up 11 percent; and interest income, up 22 percent.
The city’s share from the national government through the Internal Revenue Allotment also increased by nine percent, Cuneta reported.
The Binay administration attributed the significant increase in RPT collection to improved efficiency and accessibility of satellite RPT payment centers in the barangays.
The Computerized Barangay Realty Tax Payment System was launched in 2005 during the term of former mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., Abby’s brother, for the convenience of taxpayers, the city said. On scheduled dates every quarter, satellite payment centers electronically linked to the Treasury Department at City Hall are set up in barangay halls to accept realty tax payments.
To date, 31 out of Makati’s 33 barangays are covered by the program.
Meanwhile, the Business Permit Office has processed and approved 2,033 new applications for business permits during the same six-month period.
In a recent dialogue with members of the Rotary Club, Binay assured the business community there will be no increase in tax rates this year. She said she has directed her finance team to study on lowering tax rates, which have remained unchanged for the past ten years.
As she began her term last July, Binay promised to use technology to promote transparency and eventually implement a “no physical contact” policy in transactions with the city government.
She has prioritized the creation of a one-stop-shop for the issuance of business permits and licenses and tax payments to facilitate transactions with City Hall.
Recently, the city government received positive feedback from taxpayers who expressed their satisfaction with the city’s improved frontline services, particularly the more systematic and faster processing of applications for permits and tax payments.
“The computerization of the city’s financial systems and operations has been a major factor for the sustained revenue generation of the city government,” Binay said.
With more efficient collection and monitoring systems in place, Makati continues to be one of a few local government units in the country that are not dependent on the IRA from the national government. To date, income from IRA accounts for only nine percent of the city’s total revenue.
For three decades now, Makati has remained deficit-free as its annual revenue collections continue to increase year after year, Binay added.