City Councilor Peter "Jimbo" Maristela. (Photo courtesy of Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City)

City councilor Peter “Jimbo” Maristela is seeking a tax amnesty from the city government for real estate and landowners in Puerto Princesa with unpaid dues or delinquencies.

Maristela’s proposed ordinance aims to cover those with unpaid dues from 2008 to 2020. He said the proposed amnesty will encourage property owners to settle their accumulated dues immediately, but without the interest rates.

“Magbabayad pa rin sila, ha, ‘yong basic rates. Ang interest lang ang tatanggalin, if approved,” Maristela said in an interview on Monday, September 13.

“Para kasi maengganyo silang magbayad. Kasi ang nangyayari doon, kapag masyado nang malaki ang taxes, ‘yong iba hindi na nagbabayad talaga. Lalo na at may interest pa,” he added.

Maristela added that removing interest rates for a certain period is not going to be a problem for the city’s revenue stream. He stated that the city government is expecting an increased Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) in 2022, and this will be enough to ensure that the city’s expenses are well-funded.

“At least 30% ang itataas ng IRA natin, ayon kay Ma’am Regina [Cantillo, City Budget Officer]. Ito rin ay dahil sa Mandanas ruling. Kaya, hindi maapektuhan ang income ng city government kung tatanggalin ang interest rates ng mga may delinquencies,” he said.

“Dahil din kasi sa pandemic, marami ang ‘di agad nakaka-settle ng kanilang mga delinquencies. Kaya tayo gumawa ng proposed ordinance,” he added.

A copy of the proposed ordinance obtained by Palawan News stated that the interest-free period will run from six months once the ordinance is enacted.

The proposed ordinance was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

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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.