Puerto Princesa's new revenue code comes under scrutiny

Chinee Palatino, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2017 02:04 AM | Updated as of Mar 24 2017 09:55 AM

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — A certified public accountant questioned the new revenue code being implemented by the city government under Ordinance No. 784.

According to accountant Rante Ramos, the increase in the new revenue code exceeded the rate allowed by the Local Government Code.

"Ang akin lang, mag-create lang awareness at magkaroon ng mas malalim na pag-aaral kung ang bagong revenue code ay compliant sa mga limit na itinakda sa Local Government Code," Ramos said.

(I want to create awareness for a more in-depth study of the new revenue code and whether it is compliant with the limits set forth by the Local Government Code.)

According to Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code, increase in taxes should not exceed more than 10%.

Ramos said the increase in Puerto Princesa's new revenue code went up by more than that.

However, Councilor Henry Gadiano of the city's committee on ways and means said the hike did not refer to taxes.

"Ang ginalaw natin dito ay hindi tax, ito ay fees and charges lang. Kaya nga ito ay tinawag na Revenue Code of 2016. Hindi natin ito tinawag na Taxation Code," Gadiano said.

(What we increased are the fees and charges. That's why it's called Revenue Code of 2016, not Taxation Code.)

Mayor Luis Marcaida, who headed the technical working group on the new revenue code, echoed the same sentiments.

"Kung taxes ang pinag-uusapan, wala akong matandaan na may excess tayong in-approve. Pero as far as fees and regulatory fees are concerned, pwedeng tumaas ng 10%. Dahil dalawa po ang ating source of income — ang ating mga fees o exercise of police power at meron po tayong taxation," Marcaida said.

(If we are talking about taxes, I don't remember approving its increase. But as far as regulatory fees are concerned, it can be increased by 10%. The city has two sources of income: fees or the exercise of power, and taxation.)

Meanwhile, several businessmen are protesting the increase in fees. The Puerto Princesa Chamber of Commerce is expected to hold a dialogue with the city government to discuss the issue.