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Binay eyes lowering taxes for Makati firms

MANILA — Instead of increasing taxes, Makati Mayor Abby Binay has ordered the city government's financial team to study the possibility of lowering taxes for the city's business establishments.
"I can assure you that your city government will continue extending quality services by means of good governance, proper fiscal management and efficient collection, without increasing taxes," she told members of the Rotary Club of Makati recently.
The lady mayor said lowering taxes would be "a way of rewarding all the businesses that have stayed and remained loyal to the city."
She said her financial managers were already looking into the feasibility of the said proposal.
The mayor gave a rundown of reforms that have been put in place to promote "lawful, equitable and clean governance" in order to "restore efficient and compassionate public service" for the benefit of Makatizens (Makati citizens), including members of the business community.
"As soon as I assumed office, I ordered that no contracts with the city government be extended. All should go through a new round of public and transparent biddings. All purchases must be in accordance with procurement laws. All shortages particularly the Ospital ng Makati, should be replenished. No excuses, no extensions, no exceptions," Binay said, who is the fourth member of the family to be local chief executive in country's financial capital.
The mayor also said the city government will continue to protect the interest of the great majority of responsible and civic-minded businesses that pay the right taxes, by strictly enforcing the law and closing down errant businesses.
Binay appealed to the Rotarians for their patience, support and cooperation as her administration carries on the task of "bringing back efficiency, professionalism and good governance in Makati."
"This is also your city and you are integral to its progress. Makati is the Philippines' premier city. I am proud of the fact and I am proud to be your city mayor during these challenging times because I see two things — hope and opportunity. Hope in our commitment and our progressive future. And opportunity to further our development through my brand of governance," she said.
"Rest assured, I shall lead you with honesty, with integrity and with a vision that puts Makati and our Makatizens first," she added.
Earlier, the city government uncovered contracts amounting to over half a billion pesos that were merely extended by the Peña administration, without going through public bidding and regular procurement process. These included medical and laboratory supplies for the city-run hospital, which suffered from shortages in supplies and decline in quality of services under the previous administration.
The mayor said steps have been taken to address the shortages in supplies and repair or replace non-functional equipment.
She added that the new hospital administration has been in close coordination with her office to ensure that immediate reforms are implemented "to bring back efficiency, professionalism and compassion at the Ospital ng Makati."
Binay also reported that many taxpayers have expressed satisfaction with the city's frontline services, following the implementation of changes that made transactions more systematic and faster than the previous year.
"Our clients have also noted that there were no fixers roaming freely and offering their illegal services, unlike the past year," she said.
The mayor said she wanted to push the level of governance and public service in the city, aided by modern technology.
"I am determined to integrate technology, especially information technology, into our systems and processes. We will do so not only to deliver public services faster and more efficiently, but to promote greater transparency and accountability in the city government," she said.
She cited some "small but important steps" taken by her administration, such as the posting of live video coverage of regular and special sessions of the City Council on the city's official Facebook account, My Makati.
The said account, she said, has been transformed into a communication tool for actively engaging citizens, and ensuring that urgent concerns are addressed promptly by concerned offices and departments.
Other innovations reported by the mayor in the SOCA included the extension of the validity period of the Yellow Card from one year to three years. "This is part of our commitment to lessen the burden on our residents and taxpayers, and put government services within their reach," she said.
The city government has also brought government services directly to the barangays with the introduction of the Makati Lingkod Bayan Caravan. Held twice a month, the caravan is a one-stop, easy access and service-oriented activity right at the doorsteps of Makatizens.
The mayor also announced the approval of a P1,000 increase on the cash gifts received by senior citizens under the BLU card program, retroactive to December last year. She also said plans are afoot to put up a Persons with Disability Affairs Office, and to enhance the SPED (special education) program with the hiring of a specialist to monitor and guide students' progress, and the granting of allowances for SPED students in the city's public schools. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2021-Oct-18 21.17.24 UTC+0800