The Caloocan City government collected P1.241 billion in real-property taxes (RPT) last year, from P840 million in 2016.
This is equivalent to a 44-percent increase, according to City Assessor Reinier Salazar.
Salazar also revealed that even the transfer-tax payments increased to P89 million last year, from P74 million in 2016, or 20 percent higher. Transfer tax is a levy imposed on the transfer of title of a property.
Salazar emphasized that the increase in both RPT and transfer-tax payments was “a clear proof that the real-property owners have a high trust and confidence on Mayor Oscar Malapitan’s administration because of the improvements and progress that the taxpayers have been seeing in Caloocan City” since Malapitan became the top official of the city in 2013.
Malapitan, he noted, launched several projects that convinced businessmen and residents of Caloocan City to pay their taxes correctly and on time.
This led to positive results, as proven by increased tax collection, which never happened in the past 18 years, he added.
Malapitan’s first run for mayor was in 2013 when he defeated Ricojudge Echiverri, son of former mayor and former lawmaker Enrico Echiverri.
In the 2016 polls, he won again after defeating the elder Echiverri.
The elder Echiverri is now facing eight graft and corruption charges before the Sandiganbayan.
So far, Malapitan has not been accused and charged of graft and corruption—even plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman—because Malapitan stole nothing from the city government’s copper, Salazar said.
Another factor in the increase in the collection of taxes was the effective and efficient tax-collection system of the City Assessors Office.
This effective and efficient tax-collection system is actually a good example of “best practice” insofar as advocates of good and honest public administration and governance are concerned.
According to Nolan B. Sison, officer in charge of the Public Information Office, the high trust and confidence of the property owners to Malapitan produced a big number of taxpayers that trooped to the city hall and paid their correct taxes.
Sison said the city government did not launch tax-payment campaigns to persuade the taxpayers to do their obligation, as what other local governments usually do.
He noted that what the Caloocan City government only did was it announced the schedule of tax payments and the procedures.
Malapitan then ordered the schedule to be extended.
Sison stressed that Malapitan’s “mega projects” were the campaigner themselves, which turned out to be effective in convincing the taxpayers to pay the correct taxes.
He also said many people bought houses and lots in the city, which led to the hike in transfer tax.
The city government has not increased the RPT and transfer tax since 2005.