GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The provincial government of South Cotabato is confident about meeting its collection target this year of around PHP103 million for real property taxes despite the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Alvim Batol, the provincial treasurer, said Wednesday they are currently on track with their collection activities in the province’s 10 towns and lone city and have even posted significant gains in the past several weeks.
He said the province’s real property tax revenue reached a total of PHP17.3 million in January, increasing by around PHP2 million compared to the PHP15.18 million collection in the same month last year.
Batol attributed the increase to the implementation starting January of the six-month condonation of penalties and interests for accumulated unpaid realty taxes.
“This is already a good start as real property owners have continued paying their real property taxes despite the pandemic,” he said in a press briefing.
The local government implemented the condonation program, which was based on Ordinance No. 44, to provide relief to real property owners and help them cope with their tax payments amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The relief covered payments, both partial and full, for real property tax delinquencies from 2020 and prior years.
Batol said the realty tax payments are accepted at their office and in the municipal and city treasury offices.
From Feb. 1 to 15, he said a total of 276 real property owners have settled their taxes at their office, with payments amounting to PHP6 million.
The total collection for the period has so far reached PHP11.9 million, with the total condoned penalties and interests reaching PHP7.18 million.
To sustain these accomplishments, Batol said they strengthened their information and education campaigns in parts of the province to reach out to more real property owners and convince them to avail of the condonation program.
He said they have distributed flyers and tax bills and posted tarpaulins in strategic places, especially in the barangays.
They also provide regular updates about the program and the collection activities on their official Facebook page, he said.
He added that they also commissioned the deputized tax collectors of the local treasury offices and barangays to help spread awareness regarding the condonation program. (PNA)