TUBA, Benguet– The municipal government will intensify its tax collection efforts, especially among delinquent real property owners, to ensure the availability of internally-generated resources to sustain its operations.
Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan said the municipal government’s resources has been exhausted for the implementation of strategies to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality over the past three months.
She disclosed even the projects funded under the municipality’s 20-percent development fund and disaster risk reduction and management fund had been realigned for the intensified relief operations for the heavily impacted residents from the 13 barangays.
Sal-ongan stated the concerned offices of the municipal government will be sending out letters to the delinquent taxpayers for them to settle their obligations with the municipality to enhance the latter’s ability to generate sufficient resources internally to sustain its operations and implement development projects, and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people.
The municipal chief executive admitted that even the P14 million Bayanihan grant received by the municipality pursuant to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, is already exhausted for the implementation of community quarantine measures thus efforts are being exerted by the municipal governments to maximize their resource-generation efforts to have funds to implement priority development projects and deliver the basic services to their constituents.
She claimed she already made representations with the barangay officials to make do with the available funds for this year as most funds for their identified priority projects had been realigned to bankroll the implementation of the municipal government’s anti COVID-19 operations.
According to her, it is more important for the municipal government to ably contain the local transmission of the deadly virus in the different communities as the two confirmed cases in the municipality contracted their illness not from the municipality but from the areas they have travelled over the past several months.
Tuba is one of the five first-class municipalities in Benguet where bulk of its income is derived from the operation of Philex Mining Corporation, one of the largest gold and copper producers in the country, although most of its barangays are agricultural areas where vegetable farming is the main source of livelihood.
Sal-ongan emphasized it is important for the municipal government to look into other possible sources of locally-generated income to augment its Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government next year as the overall impact of the wrath of the global pandemic will be felt by stakeholders probably by next year because of possibly reduced appropriations for projects among others.
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