Iloilo eyes top post in DOF’s tax watch list

ILOILO — The Province of Iloilo could have been on the top four in the list performing revenue earners in the Philippines, if it included the income it raked from its 12 hospitals in 2014.

Based on financial records, the Province of Iloilo generated P347,437,138.31 from the hospitals after it became a Local Economic Enterprise in 2014 but such figure was not reflected in the report submitted to Department of Finance.

The province only reported P358,050,226 from Locally Sourced Income (LSI) or 18.4% of its Annual Regular Income (ARI) of P1,94,802,983 which explains why Iloilo ranked 15 in DOF’s Tax Watch.

Tax Watch publishes weekly lists of individual and non-individual taxpayers as part of DOF and Bureau of Internal Revenue’s campaign “to increase transparency on tax payments and to encourage people to be conscientious in paying the right taxes”.

If the income from the hospitals were included, lawyer Dominador Tersol, an adviser of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., pointed out that Iloilo should be in the fourth place since its LSI was supposed to be at 30%.

The top five provinces with the most locally sourced revenues in 2014 were Aklan (42.4 percent of its IRA), Bataan (33%), Ilocos Sur (31.7%), Pampanga (27%) and Tarlac (26.9%).

Assuming that Iloilo could maintain such performance plus the gains from the reforms implemented by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. on taxation, Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said it is possible for the province to be on the top five by the time DOF publishes the 2015 report on the same.

“We project to have an LSI of P600-million for 2015, increasing our LSI share to 31% and hopefully land in the top five performing province in the whole country,” stressed Banias.

After Defensor’s 5th State of the Province Address on October 2015, the chief of hospitals, through the Hospital Management Office, turned over P115,582,666.23 in savings.

Such fund was reinvested to improve the hospital’s operations and to help them become more independent. By November 2015, the 12 hospitals reported an income of P386,050,385.

The province will also rake more revenues from Real Property Tax (RPT) if it can update its Schedule of Market Values (SMV) within this year.

Under the Local Government Code, RPT must be based on a SMV that is fair, current and updated.

Updating of SMV and revision of property assessments and classification must be held once every three years.

But in the case of Iloilo, its RPT is still based on 2002 SMV unlike Capiz and Negros Occidental which are up-to-date.

Guimaras’ RPT is based on SMV set in 1999, Aklan in 2005, and Antique in 2007.

Nevertheless, Iloilo has put in place revenue generation plan to improve its collection efficiency.

By way of tax amnesty programs and barangay tax campaign activities, Iloilo’s tax collection increased by 69% from P366.5 million in 2013 to P620-million in 2014.

As a result, the Provincial Treasurer’s Office received an Excellence Award in 2014 and was cited as one of best 5S implementers in the region. 5S stands for “Sort, Systematize, Sweep, Sanitize and Self-Discipline”.

Iloilo also pioneered the Enhanced Assessment System with Tax Mapping System (Assys2v2), an innovation used by the Provincial Assessor’s Office in dealing with tax payers, processing assessment transactions and establishing data base.

The tax system has been cited as finalist in 2015 Awards for Excellence in Information and Communications Technology for Good Governance for Local Government Units.JAN



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