Malaybalay City Council: Collect, don’t condone, Buseco tax arrears

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News Dispatch/ 17 Sept.) The Malaybalay City
Council passed a resolution on Sept. 13 denying the Bukidnon Second
Electric Cooperative’s appeal to condone surcharges of its P14-million
tax arrears. Instead the city council called on the City Treasurer’s
Office to collect payment in 10 days.City Councilor Perla E. Rubio, chair of the Committee on Ways and
Means, proposed the resolution Tuesday during the city council’s
regular session. She urged Danilo Linoay, City Treasurer, and Arsenio
Macas of the City Assessor’s Office, to deny Buceco’s appeal that the
interest, penalty and surcharges for a total of P4.981 million, be
condoned.

The City Council unanimously approved the resolution.

About P9.060 million of the P14 million total arrears goes to the principal.

The CTO must issue a final notice of demand for the immediate
collection and payment of the said tax due, Rubio added, and to give
Buseco 10 days upon receipt to comply with the demand.

The penalty accumulated to P 4,981,433.22, Lino-ay said, due to the
firm’s non-payment from 2004 until September 2011.

He said they informed Buseco about the amnesty program when they
issued the First Notice on Aug. 17, 2010. The grace period lapsed on
September 30, 2010.

Then, the total amount due was only P 7,910,313.16, which only
comprised of the principal RPT (basic tax and the Special Education
Fund) pursuant to the Prov. Ordinance No. 2007-008 R, granting
condonation of penalties for unpaid Real Property Taxes.

The CTO, Lino-ay said, did not receive any reply from Buseco.

Edgardo Masongsong, Buseco general manager, wrote to Malaybalay City
mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri  on April 25, 2011 to appeal for the city to
condone penalties and interest as it would be passed on to the
members-consumers.

City Councilor Roland F. Deticio said that the request could never be
granted since the tax amnesty offer already lapsed. He pushed for the
City Treasurer’s Office to make a final assessment and demand.

Deticio said the move could bring justice to the owners-consumers. He
said the Buseco allegedly charged the real property tax to consumers
as reflected in their electric billings starting February 2011.

Jose Medardo M. Estaniel, city councilor and ABC Federation president,
said paying tax is Buseco’s obligation. Waiving such obligation, he
said, would bring injustice to other entities that faithfully paid
their taxes.

Estaniel added that granting such amnesty would depend on the
financial status and capability of the institution.
Estaniel further said that based on their financial projection, Buseco
has no reason, whatsoever, not to pay what is due to the city.

City Councilor Bob Roberto T. Casanova emphasized that the council
should exhaust its legislative authority to ensure that this imposed
tax due will never be passed on to the owners-consumers.

Bukidnon News reached a Buseco official for comments about the matter.
The source said they will respond as soon as they received the demand
letter. (Erlow Talatala)

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