In the know: Iñake Zubiri and Gaisano Malaybalay

MALAYBALAY CITY – (Bukidnon News Dispatch/13 October) In March 2009, then vice mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri lamented the investment incentives given to Gaisano Malaybalay by the city government through a special ordinance. He alleged that a portion of it was “unfair” and must be taken out.

Then city councilor Victor Aldeguer, now vice mayor, said Zubiri’s manifestation was a suggestion “but there would likely be no amendments to the incentives ordinance.”

There was a move to amend City Ordinance 637 Series of 2008, which embodied the city’s offered incentives to Gaisano and Sons, Inc. and companies intending to rent in the mall.

The ordinance was approved in July 2008. The construction of the P500-million, four-story mall in downtown Malaybalay is still ongoing. The mall has opened most of its sections this year.

The ordinance, among other things, exempts the mall from paying for the next five years the amusement tax and basic real property tax, asking them to pay only for the Special Education Fund.

For locators, the ordinance exempts them from paying business tax on their first year of operation and subsequent 25-percent increase in imposition every year after until full implementation on the sixth year.

But the incentives are offered only to locators with capitalization of at least P500,000, according to Section 3 of the ordinance.

Aldeguer said then that the same incentives cannot be offered to locators outside the proposed mall because their investments are not as big as that of the Gaisanos.

Then Mayor Florencio T. Flores Jr., now Bukidnon second district representative, was critical of the proposed review, saying it would put a question mark on the integrity and credibility of the city to investors. He cited that the mall’s investment is biggest to date in the city, just enough to merit commensurate incentives.

The proposed review did not push through. (Bukidnon News)


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