South Cotabato starts comprehensive review of revenue code

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Oct. 6 (PNA) — In a bid to increase its local revenues, the provincial government of South Cotabato has launched a comprehensive review of its revenue code.

Alfredo Dumanig, acting head of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, said Tuesday the local government has created a technical working group (TWG) to spearhead the review process, which includes the updating and revision of key components of the code.

“We need to review and amend some provisions of the code to complement with the changes in the socio-economic scene and other related developments these past several years,” he said.

Dumanig noted that the province’s revenue was last amended in 2011 and some of its provisions, especially the local tax rates, needs updating based on their assessment.

The provincial impositions, as provided by the Local Government Code, covers business taxes for entities involved in printing and publication; local franchises; and, quarrying of sand, gravel and other resources.

It also levies professional taxes on persons exercising or practicing their professions; amusement tax; and, annual fixed tax not exceeding PHP500 for every delivery truck or van used by manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, dealers, among others.

“We’re targeting to implement new tax rates by next year,” Dumanig said.

In line with the initiative, he said the provincial government has commissioned the TWG to conduct study missions in Luzon and Visayas to look into the revenue codes of various local government units (LGUs).

The TWG, which is composed of PTO personnel, was divided into two teams to fast track the conduct of the study missions, he said.

Last week, he said a five-person team embarked on an initial mission to the provinces of Batangas and Pampanga.

Dumanig said the second team will leave for the provinces of Cebu and Iloilo on the third week of October.

“We’re mainly looking at how other LGUs prepared and updated their revenue codes as well as their basis in the imposition of new local tax rates,” he said.

He said the results of the studies will serve as basis for the crafting of the province’s revised revenue code, which will later be submitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board for review and approval.

In 2014, the provincial government generated PHP173.4 million in local revenues and PHP1.16 million from other revenue sources.

Dumanig said they are targeting to increase the province’s tax revenues by 50 percent with the implementation of new local tax rates in 2016. (PNA)