MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City councilor has proposed an ordinance that seeks to implement a socialized housing tax on Quezon City residents, who will have to fund a housing program for informal settlers in the city.
The ordinance, authored by District 4 Councilor Edcel Greco Lagman, aims to finance a housing program for more than 2,000 informal settlers.
“From all over the Philippines pumupuntang Quezon City for a better life, only to realize na wala pala silang bahay dito. What if bigyan natin sila ng magandang pabahay?” said Lagman.
Under the tax scheme, if a lot has an assessed value of P100,000 and above, it will be subject to a 0.5% tax from the assessed value, not including real property tax.
This means that for lots with an assessed value of P100,000, a minimum of P500 will be added in annual tax.
Quezon City residents have mixed reactions on the new tax scheme.
“Para magkaron din naman ng magandang pabahay ang mga squatter kasi kawawa din naman sila,” said Nora Valera.
Another resident, on the other hand, said the tax scheme may invite more informal settlers to Quezon City.
“Baka mamaya mas dumami pa ang squatters sa Quezon City dahil masyado nilang binibigyan ng incentive ang mga informal settlers,” said Jordan Tolentino.
The local government, meanwhile, said informal settlers will not be the only ones who will benefit from the tax scheme.
“Kung bibigyan natin sila ng housing, magiging taxpayers na rin sila baling araw. So we are breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte.
A meeting will be held by more than 80 homeowner’s association in Quezon City on Saturday to discuss how they can block what they feel is unjust tax. -- Report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News