South Cotabato taps Veterans Bank ax tax collection agent

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 June) – In a bid to improve local tax collections, the provincial government of South Cotabato has linked up with government-owned and controlled Philippine Veteran’s Bank (PVB) for the upgrading of its real property tax (RPT) assessment and collection systems.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy said the local government forged a memorandum of agreement with PVB for the installation of computerized system for RPT assessment and collection within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

As part of the system, he said PVB, which is the provincial government’s depository bank, will serve as collecting agent for local tax payments.

Pingoy said PVB will handle the necessary systems upgrading and the training of personnel from the provincial government’s assessment and treasury offices.

“Once implemented, the new system will rationalize our real property tax assessment and collection processes,” the governor said in the local government’s weekly radio program.

Eduardo Siason, South Cotabato provincial assessor, said they expect the new system to be in place by next month.

He said his office has directed the province’s municipal and city assessors to transmit by July 31 all data with regard to real property tax administration for integration into the system.

Siason said RPT or realty taxes in the province are presently collected by the provincial, municipal and city treasury offices in the area based on assessments made by the Provincial Assessor’s Office.

The tax, a briefer noted, applies to all forms of real property such as land, building, improvements, and machinery. Exemption is given to real properties owned by government, charitable institutions, churches, cooperatives, and those that are used in the supply of water and electric power.

Collections from the real property tax are shared with smaller local government units that compose the province or the city.

In the case of a province, 40 percent goes to the municipality; 25 percent goes to the village where the property is located, and the province retains 35 percent.

Collections of city governments are divided with the village getting one-third and the city retaining two-thirds. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)