Pasay folk raise howl over dog, bike taxBy Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“So this is why a City Hall staffer came to my house the other day asking how many dogs I have,” Facebook user May Zabala wrote under a reproduction of a notice issued by the Pasay City treasurer’s office.
Zabala and many other Facebook users snarled at the June 8 notice issued by City Treasurer Manuel Leycano Jr. reminding Pasay residents about a provision in the city’s tax code imposing taxes for owning dogs and bicycles.
Residents raised a howl of protest through social networking sites and blogs, forcing Pasay Mayor Antonino Calixto Jr. to suspend the collection of the taxes.
Calixto also ordered a review of the provision to determine whether the city really needed canine and bicycle taxes.
Review English also
“Considering the comments received by this office, I have found it prudent to defer its implementation in order to give this office enough time to study its implications,” Calixto said in a City Hall statement.
Might as well include the language of the city hall notice in the review. City residents, though protesting, are also guffawing.
Residents who own “domesticated dog found in your household” must pay P20, the notice from the City Treasurer’s office said. That is presumably P20 per dog, as the guy from City Hall who had been visiting Zabala asked how many dogs she had.
Here’s another: Those who own bicycles “powered by the feet” and “for private use within the city of Pasay” must pay P30.
Calixto said the taxes were enacted in 1999 during the term of Mayor Jovito Claudio.
The bicycle tax would be used to finance the cost of license plates, while the dog tax would be used to bankroll the operations of the city registry for dogs and campaigns for canine well-being such as providing antirabies shots.
The snarling on the Internet suggested, however, that the taxes were little known in Pasay. Exactly why is unclear.
What is clear to Calixto is that the next elections are 12 months away and his constituents are baying at City Hall, protesting a levy that was designed to squeeze the last centavo of tax money out of the people of Pasay.
“Considering that it was passed some 13 years ago, there is a need to determine if it is still necessary under present circumstances,” Calixto said.
One protester on the Internet has a message for Calixto: Strictly enforce traffic rules if you want additional revenue.