Makati so rich it could fund another DOST, DOLE

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SKYLINE OVER POVERTY LINE The towering buildings are at the heart of Makati City, while the shanties are along an estero in Pasay City. RAFFY LERMA

Still the richest city government in the country, Makati posted P9.65 billion in gross revenues for the first eight months of the year, five percent higher than its collection in August 2012.

In the City Treasurer’s report to Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., local sources contributed to the bulk of the city’s total revenue collections, with business taxes amounting to P5.06 billion and real property taxes totaling P3.36 billion.

At P9.6 billion, Makati generated enough funds just slightly lower than the 2013 budget of the Department of Science and Technology, which is P9.9 billion, or that of the Department of Justice, which is P10.2 billion. It dwarfs the budget of the Department of Labor and Employment, P7.8 billion.

The new figures came out more than a month after Makati found itself being handed another revenue-rich area, the upscale Bonifacio Global City (BGC), thanks to a Court of Appeals ruling that nullified the claims of neighboring Taguig City after a 20-year boundary dispute.

The ruling, however, was followed by weeks of tension and animosity between the leaders and personnel of the two cities, as Taguig filed an appeal and refused to yield control of BGC. A truce of sorts was reached between Binay and Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano on Sept. 9.

“I am glad that the city is on track in its revenue targets, even exceeding our expectations. The six percent increase in our business tax collections and five percent increase in realty taxes as of this August only show the investors’ sustained high level of confidence in Makati,” said Binay, whose family had dominated Makati politics for the last 27 years, ruling the city that hosts the country’s financial district.

The mayor noted that while there had been no increase in tax rates for the past seven years, the city’s income from local sources had consistently risen and more than made up for its steadily dwindling Internal Revenue Allotment. The IRA represents a local government’s share in national government revenues.

As of August this year, Makati’s IRA stood at P476 million, or two percent lower than its share in August 2012.

According to the 2012 annual report prepared by its Urban Development Department (UDD), the city posted for the past three years an average income growth rate of 7.3 per year, while its IRA of 7.4 percent in 2010 fell to 6.7 percent in 2012.

The UDD report also showed Makati’s total revenue reaching P11.37 billion, which was 5.8 percent higher than 2011. The city’s urban planners attributed its strong economic performance to growing investor confidence, as indicated by the increased number of business and special permits issued by City Hall from 33,548 in 2010 to 34,760 last year.

Binay noted that even with its multiawarded best practices in public service and local governance, Makati strives to sustain its competitiveness through groundbreaking initiatives in disaster risk reduction and management and peacekeeping to promote a stable business environment.

Recently, the city started the implementation of the Makati Comprehensive Land Use Plan covering 2013-2023 and the new Zoning Ordinance of Makati.

Binay also underscored the city’s improved public security systems with the installation of new surveillance cameras around the central business district that are directly monitored from City Hall.—With a report from Inquirer Research

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