GenSan collects nearly P300-M in taxes

Acharon said last year's revenues, reportedly the highest in the last five years, mainly came from the expansion and opening of new businesses in the tuna industry and the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.


He said at least 1,630 new businesses were established last year or 15 percent more compared to 2005's figures.

"These new businesses required some P945 million worth of investments or about 62 percent higher than the P360 million recorded in 2005," Acharon said.

The Department of Trade and Industry had cited the SME sector, which comprises 99 percent of the businesses in the city, as the backbone of the local economy.

The DTI attributed the growth of the SME sector during the last decade to the growing tuna export trading, especially of various tuna value-added products. 

Acharon said the local government collected a total P101.6 million from the 6,774 businesses that registered in 2006. The figure is 15 percent higher than the P94.8 million generated from the 5,881 business registrants in 2005.

In terms of real property tax collection, the city government also collected some P101.2 million last year, at least P13.4 million more than its average of P87.8 million from 2001 to 2005.

A report from the city public information office noted that the local government posted a collection efficiency of 6.5 percent in 2006 after averaging at least 4.2 percent during the last five years.

Acharon said the local government expects to generate anew a significant increase in revenues this year due to the resurging tuna industry, which is considered the city's flagship industry.

The industry, especially tuna fishing briefly took the backseat in 2005 and early 2006, due to the skyrocketing fuel prices.

But Acharon said the industry's export earnings will likely increase beginning this year following the accreditation of the city's fishport complex and other tuna processing facilities here by the European Union (EU).

A team of safety and sanitary inspectors from the EU conducted a 10-day inspection in the city last October to check whether the local tuna processing plants and tuna fishing facilities have complied with the safety and sanitary standards set by the EU, especially on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HCCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Acharon said Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) had confirmed that the city's fishport and tuna canneries have passed the EU inspection.

Industry records showed that the city exported some 90,045 tons of tuna annually worth US$155 million from 2002 to 2005. The industry posted its highest performance in 2004 when it shipped out 105,870 tons of tuna valued at US$183.5 million.