City councilor Peter "Jimbo" Maristela during a committee meeting. (Photo courtesy of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa)

City Councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela is proposing a 20 percent discount in real property taxes, in the hopes of easing the financial strain on farmers who were severely impacted by Typhoon Odette.

If adopted by the City Council, the proposed ordinance said that the discount would apply for the years 2022 and 2023. All real property taxes on lands, buildings, machines, and other infrastructure are also covered.

On Monday, the draft ordinance received its first reading. “The tax discount granted under this ordinance may only be availed of by any real property taxpayers in year 2022 and 2023 be paid in one full payment or in four equal installments, at the option of the taxpayer,” the ordinance read.

The ordinance also cited the recent devastation of Odette, which greatly damaged both public and private property during its onslaught in December last year. One of the most hard-hit sectors are from the farming sector, wherein the agricultural damage was estimated to be at P95-million, according to the City Agriculturist.

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“Considering that our farmers have lost considerable income for months and they will have to start again from scratch to cultivate their lands, the Sangguniang Panlungsod deems it necessary to pass measures that will ease the financial burden of farmers in paying real property taxes,” the ordinance added.

Maristela also sought to pass a tax amnesty ordinance for real property taxes for unpaid taxes through the years of 2019 to 2021. The proposed ordinance, which recently passed its second reading, seeks to encourage tax payers to settle their unpaid dues without interest or penalties in the years stated. This proposed ordinance cited the current economic difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic as one of the reasons why taxpayers should be given discounts.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.