Binay Jr. makes ‘win-win’ offer to Cayetano on BGC

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Before he could even take actual control of the land, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. on Thursday expressed willingness to “share” with Taguig City the revenues to be raised from the bustling Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which the Court of Appeals (CA) recently handed back to his city after a 20-year boundary dispute with Taguig.

Binay spoke of a “win-win” arrangement after Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano publicly resented hearing him talk about a “smooth transition” that he said could happen in two weeks. Cayetano said it was “irresponsible” for the Makati official to say that since Taguig could still appeal the CA ruling, and reminded businessmen in the BGC that they would still be doing transactions with her city.

In a statement, Binay said he was open to a “revenue-sharing scheme” with Taguig since Makati also wanted to help the people of its neighboring city.

He recalled that Makati had been challenging Taguig’s claim over the area even since 1993, even before it became a booming commercial and residential hub. There were hardly any establishments there back then, he noted.

The Makati mayor said the revenue-sharing scheme is among the possible arrangements in BGC which he and his father—former Makati Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay—had been discussing for a long time.

But he said this setup—unheard of among local governments—may require the creation of a special administrative body and the passage of a special law by Congress.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Binay said that upon Makati’s takeover residents and companies in the areas covered by the CA ruling would enjoy a business tax moratorium for the rest of the year, to avoid any problems with those who had already paid to Taguig in full.

In a TV interview, Cayetano said Binay’s proposal still needed to be studied by her lawyers. She declined to give further comment.

Binay also said that with the jurisdiction of BGC going back to Makati, the city government might lower its current tax rates “because there’s a lot of money to be collected, more than enough.”

Makati recently reported that it had raised some P8 billion in revenues in the first half of the year from companies based in the city, which numbered 62,392 as of end of 2012. The amount was higher by six percent than the collections in the same period last year.

In the wake of the CA ruling, the Taguig City government has yet to release its business data on the BGC, like the total number of establishments and its tax collections in that area per year, despite requests from the media.

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