GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/15 November)– Government-owned and controlled Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) and the provincial government of South Cotabato will unveil next month a new property and business tax collection system that is seen to further perk up the revenue generation initiatives in the area.
Engr. Robert Deanon, acting South Cotabato provincial assessor, said they will start in December the pilot testing of the new system in Surallah town based on an agreement earlier signed by the local government with PVB.
“We’re currently studying the system’s implementation and specifically determining whether it is workable or not,” he said in a radio interview.
Deanon said the pilot testing of the system by the municipal government of Surallah will help them decide later on if it would be fully adopted by the provincial government and the nine other municipal governments in the province.
Based on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed in June by the provincial government and the PVB, the province’s 10 municipalities would adopt the single property and business tax collection system developed by the bank.
“The new system will automate real property and business tax collection operations, thereby enhancing the delivery of such services to each municipality’s constituents,” PVB said in a statement.
It said that since the provincial government would also be using the same tax collection system, it would mean “seamless interface between each municipality and the provincial capitol.”
Aside from the real property and business tax collection system, the local government also availed of PVB’s timekeeping and payroll system, wherein all employees are enrolled and issued with timekeeping identification cards that also act as their payroll automated teller machine or ATM cards.
The bank had installed a VeteranTeller ATM unit at the provincial capitol, which also benefits from its deposit pick-up and cash delivery services.
South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. said the new system will mainly provide an automated or computerized real property tax (RPT) assessment and collection facility for the province.
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.
In preparation for the installation of the new system, the office of the provincial assessor directed the province’s municipal and city assessors to transmit all their data with regards to real property tax administration.
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 office of the provincial assessor.
The tax, a briefer noted, applies to all forms of real property such as land, building, improvements and machinery.
RPT collections are shared with smaller local government units that compose a province or a city. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)