SoCot ups real property tax collection target to P160M

Elvira Rafael, acting provincial treasurer, said the new figure represents a 27-percent increase from last year's collection target of P103 million.

She said the increase in the collection target was primarily an offshoot of the adjustments in the assessment of the value of real properties that took effect last year.

Starting the first quarter of the year, she said the Provincial Treasurer's Office (PTO) has been working hand in hand with the Municipal Treasurer's Office of the province's 10 towns for the conduct of massive tax information and collection campaign to help cope with this year's target.

"The target is high but we are hoping that we could still collect and hopefully surpass this before the end of the year," Rafael said.

In 2006, the province surpassed its real property collection by P12 million, or a 111.84-percent collection efficiency.

Such accomplishment landed the province in the top spot among local government units in Region 12 in terms of real property tax collections.

The bulk of the collections came from the industrial classification that posted P64 million, followed by agricultural with P37.5 million, residential with P7 million, commercial with P5.7 million, special with P461,700, hospital with P26,000, cultural with P1,291 and from other classifications with P349,800.

Of the 10 municipalities, T'boli topped the collection efficiency rating with 201.35 percent, followed by Tampakan with 133.40 percent, Tantangan with 124.24 percent, Banga with 118.88 percent, Polomolok with 113.91 percent, Surallah with 107.74 percent, Tupi with 93.37 percent, Norala with 88.46 percent, Sto. Niño with 86.14 percent and Lake Sebu with 43.81 percent.

To help cope with their target, Rafael assigned 10 employees from their department to serve as collection deputies in different municipalities and major corporations in the province.

She said the assigned deputies were tasked to perform tax information and education activities such as the preparation and distribution of tax bills to property owners and conduct pulong-pulong or meetings in the barangays and coordinate their active involvement in the tax collection and enforcement program, including the delivery of letters.

"They will also coordinate with public schools in the municipality as well as barangay officials to conduct assembly meetings for tax information and distribution of tax information materials in the different barangays of the municipality," Rafael said.

She said the municipal treasurers, barangay officials and public schools were also tapped by the PTO for the conduct of tax information, collection and enforcement program following a training and orientation.