GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 9 June) – The city government is working on some relief and recovery measures to assist businesses that were affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
Rodilon Lacap, acting head of the City Treasurer’s Office, said they have proposed for the granting of incentives and the liberal treatment on the payment of the annual privilege tax for registered micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the city.
He specifically cited MSMEs that were forced to scale down and suspend their operations due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Lacap said the relief measures, which he did not specify pending approval, will be included in the economic recovery plan being drawn out by the city government.
“We already submitted our proposal and hopefully it will be considered under the recovery plan,” he said in a radio interview.
Citing their monitoring, Lacap said a number of businesses opted to delay the payment of their tax dues as owners chose to prioritize the emergency needs of their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city, considered as Region 12 or Soccsksargen’s main economic hub, has over 10,000 registered MSMEs.
Majority of businesses in the city were forced to temporarily close down due to the implementation of the region-wide ECQ in mid-March but have since reopened as the area eased into modified general community quarantine starting June 1.
Anticipating such scenario, the official said they implemented adjustments in the payment of real property and business taxes for the first and second quarters of the year.
The deadline for the first quarter real property tax dues was earlier extended from March 31 to May 31 and the second quarter business tax from April 24 to June 20.
Lacap said they proposed to the Office of the City Mayor for another extension on the payment of both tax dues until June 25 in compliance with a directive from the Department of Finance.
He said penalties for delayed tax payments will be waived until the proposed new deadline.
“During the pandemic there was no imposition of interests and surcharges to all accrued taxes and fees that were not paid on time by our taxpayers,” he said. (MindaNews)