Kidapawan LGU to lose P36M due to 16 new cities

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/17 Feb) – The local government of Kidapawan is expected to lose starting next year P36 million from its internal revenue allotment (IRA) because of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the 16 new cities, five of which situated in Mindanao.

City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco said the loss will mean a cut in the delivery of basic social services, including health and education, to its more than 100,000 residents.

He considered the SC decision a setback.

This year, the city government lost P45 million from non-payment of real property taxes of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the country’s biggest manufacturer of renewable energy.

The EDC, which operates the 105-megawatt Mount Apo geothermal plant here, was granted an exemption from paying its real property taxes to the host local government unit, using as basis Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act.

EDC payments account to 63 percent of the total collection of real property taxes of the city government.

Because of the “double whammy,” Gantuangco said the city government finds it difficult to source out funds to sustain its priority programs.

Gantuangco, a member of the League of City Mayors, said his group has already filed a motion for reconsideration seeking reversal of the SC decision.

The court has been flip-flopping on the case of the 16 towns that became cities in 2007. It has already ruled on the issue five times, and reversed its decision thrice.

The cities are Baybay in Leyte, Bogo in Cebu, Catbalogan in Samar, Tandag in Surigao del Sur, Lamitan in Basilan, Borongan in Samar, Tayabas in Quezon, Tabuk in Kalinga, Bayugan in Agusan del Sur, Batac in Ilocos Norte, Mati in Davao Oriental, Guihulngan in Negros Oriental, Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte, El Salvador in Misamis Oriental, Carcar in Cebu, and Naga in Cebu). (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)