MANILA - Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Friday said the local government has already collected 78 percent of its target tax collections in 2021 in just 6 months.
"Sa taong ito, nasa 78 percent na tayo ng ating target collection," Sotto said in his third State of the City Address, without mentioning how much the city was planning to collect this year.
(This year, we are already at 78 percent of our target collection.)
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic in last year, Pasig City collected some P8.75 billion in tax revenues, which was about P600 million higher than the dues collected in 2019, a non-pandemic year.
"Nagpapasalamat tayo kasi nagbabayad ng buwis yung mga businesses. Hopefully, it’s because they trust the government," Sotto told ABS-CBN News in a chance interview after his SOCA.
(We are thankful because businesses are paying their taxes. Hopefully it’s because they trust the government.)
Since Sotto rose to power in 2019, he began reducing red tape in the tax payment scheme of Metro Manila's 4th richest city by opening one-stop shops in malls as well as an online portal where Pasigueños could settled their government dues.
"I hope it has something to do with it," the mayor said.
"Magbabayad naman talaga yan. Ang sa amin lang, madali yung buhay nila... Hopefully, it makes it easier for them to pay as well," he said.
(They are really going to pay. But for us, we just want to make their lives easier... Hopefully, it makes it easier for them to pay as well.)
Sotto declined to say when he estimates the city to hit this year's target revenue, and if he expects to exceed the target collections this year.
Pasig City has also saved P2.3 billion in public funds from October 2019 to June 2021 thanks to a more transparent bidding process, Sotto said.
The cost of city government projects dropped by 20 percent this year compared to the price 3 years ago, he said.
"Hindi pa tayo perpekto pero doon tayo papunta bilang isang bayan, bilang isang lungsod," the mayor said.
(We are not yet perfect, but that is where we are headed as a nation, as a city.)
"The question is: 'Will I do my part to make these changes come sooner in our city or in our country?'"