Bacolod City’s 2020 budget approved

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Bacolod City has approved on the P3-billion budget for 2020.

The budget is 12 percent higher compared to the P2.53 billion budget this year, with 52 percent to be sourced from local taxes and 48 percent from the internal revenue allotment share of the city.

City Councilor Cindy Rojas, Committee on Finance and Appropriations chair, said the passage of the annual budget proposal is a sign that the city is progressing rapidly.

But Councilor Wilson Gamboa said he worried that the city will not be able to collect the funds.

He called on the city government to be stricter in tax collection to reach the P3-billion projected budget.

The City Treasurer’s Office took note of Gamboa’s calls saying they will find a way to get businesses to pay the correct taxes.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said one factor that could help reach the budget for next year is the updating of the “tax code.”

He explained that he has received reports that Bacolod’s taxes are lower compared to other cities in Negros Occidental.

“It is really a very cheap city to deal with, which is also not healthy,” Leonardia pointed out.

Leonardia added that if the city needs to be in line of good governance, taxes should be reasonable and realistic.

“The alternative is to improve our collection efforts, our efficiency and our effectiveness, because we can compensate for it,” he pointed out.

Treasurer Giovanni Balalilhe said the city will have to be efficient in terms of the tax collection.

He said they will inspect establishments that lack business permits; auction stalls of delinquent vendors in public markets; collect arrears in real property tax; and tax contractors based outside Bacolod like SM, Ayala, among others.