Germany increases funding for PH to address corruption, etc

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Mar 25 2013 01:05 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2013 09:05 PM

MANILA - Due to the success rate of its programs in the Philippines in recent years, Germany’s largest funding institution GIZ will increase its annual assistance this year to 22 million Euros from the previous yearly 10 million Euros.

Dr. Herwig Mayer, program manager of the GIZ Decentralization Program, said: “The funding assistance of GIZ has never been this large as before because [it] will go to potential successful areas.”

He said the fund assistance will cover programs on sustainable environment; measures to address the impact of climate change; conflict transformation and conflict avoidance in the CARAGA region.

A program assisting local communities in Visayas and Mindanao to facilitate the collection of real property taxes (RPT) and hasten the release of business permits for investors will conclude this coming June.

The so-called Integrated Taxation Management System (iTAX) and Streamlining of Business Permits and Licensing Systems (BPLS) is the GIZ-DP’s flagship program. It is a computerized system to facilitate all areas of tax collection, from issuance of tax bills to tax payments.

Anna Marie Fortuito, program officer of GIZ in La Union, said incidents of corruption in the areas has been reduced because “it’s the system that computes how much RPT should be paid and not the person from the municipality.”

In La Union, revenues collected from real property taxes increased at an average of 48% to P329 million in 2012 from P71 million in 2008.

Fortuito said there are now 19 municipalities in La Union using the iTAX system.

Others have also followed in implementing the system, such as: Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Pangasinan, Cebu, Zamboanga del Sur, Pampanga, Oriental Mindoro and two cities from Quezon and Negros Occidental.