(PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – Legazpi City has received a hefty amount of PHP278.3 million in National Tax Allotment (NTA, formerly IRA) in the first three months of 2022, or an increase of 36.86-percent compared to the amount received in 2021 under the old Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), the City Treasurer’s Office reported on Tuesday.

Based on official data, the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) collected PHP203.9 million from the IRA in 2021, showing an increase of PHP74.9 million or 36.86 percent under the NTA this year.

City Budget Officer Jeffrey Navarro attributed the increase to the full implementation of the Mandanas Ruling.

“Because of the now full-blown implementation of the Mandanas Ruling that’s why we have a bigger share from the NTA compared to when it was still called IRA,” Navarro said.

He said the share of Legazpi City from the NTA has increased, adding that a certain percentage of the collection by the national government from the Bureau Customs (BOC) was added to the LGU as part of the newly implemented tax-sharing scheme.

“In fact, the City Government of Legazpi is targeting PHP1.1-billion NTA share for the whole year of 2022,” Navarro said.

Carlita de Guzman, chief of the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), said from January to March of the present year, her office has collected PHP74.237 million from the Real Property Tax (RPT), which was higher than the PHP68.262-million collection in the same period last year, showing a slight increase of PHP5.975 million, or 8.7 percent.

De Guzman added that PHP217.037 million was collected from business taxes, which was PHP25.361 million or 13.23 percent higher than the PHP191.675 million collected in the first quarter of last year.

“But the collection from fees and charges by the city government from January to March of the present year has decreased by 3.13 percent as the CTO has only collected PHP40.2 million against PHP41.5 million or PHP1.3 million lower compared to the same period last year,” she said.

De Guzman added the collection from “economic enterprises” has also decreased by PHP4.497 million or 30.64 percent, with PHP14.679 million collected in the first quarter of last year against the PHP10.181 million in the present year.

“Some of the owners of real property and business establishments in Legazpi are now paying taxes through online e-payment services. We believe that through these online services, we are able to improve a lot of our local revenue collections as these are also providing convenience to our taxpayers,” she added.

De Guzman said the main factor for the improvement in Legazpi City's local tax collection was the adoption of the Enhanced Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS) and the implementation of the Geographic Information System (GIS).

ETRACS is an automated assessment of taxes and other business fees while the GIS produces thematic layers for planning and identification of delinquent taxpayers and business operations. (With report from Connie Calipay/PNA)