The amount collected was a significant improvement from previous collections and was a result of what the city would describe as its massive tax collection campaign so far.
The 56 major taxpayers were given recognition during a simple awarding ceremony on the city’s 56th charter day today.
Mayor Lawrence Cruz said he was confident that the city's economy would fully recover from a deep slide in 1999 when the National Steel Corporation (NSC) closed operation, affecting many other industries depending on it.
The NSC and other industries operating either dependent or independent of the country’s erstwhile steel giant, contributed largely to the industrial-led economy of the city. At the height of its operation, the NSC alone contributed between P30 million to P50 million yearly in taxes.
The NSC was revived in 2004 by an India consortium under a new name, the Global Steel Industries, and was attributed to having sparked a gradual revival of the city economy. Officials hoped then that the GSI would help push another economic boom not only in Iligan but also in the neighboring provinces and cities.
On the other hand, Lanao del Norte Rep. Alipio Cirilo Badelles urged Iliganons to rally behind the move to elevate Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology into a university, a move that was lobbied previously by his father, former Rep. Marinao Badelles. The MSU-IIT is one of the satellite campuses of the Mindanao State University, which has its main campus in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
MSU President Ricardo del Leon was one of the guests in the charter day celebration, and although he did not mention the move to elevate the MSU-IIT into a university, he urged nonetheless “to push for quality education in the region”.
The charter day celebration was highlighted by a performance from the Philippine Bayanihan Dance Troupe of the Philippine Women's University and the local Kalimulan Dance Troupe. (MindaNews)