Soon, dancing tax collectors in Cebu City
CEBU CITY — The local government here has come up with a new program to optimize revenue collection and help the city reach its P50-billion budget allocation this year by reminding delinquent taxpayers of their obligation through dances.
The “Strategic Assessment of Your Assets and Worth (Sayaw) para sa Buhis” was officially launched at Plaza Sugbo park fronting the City Hall building on June 22.
Ofelia Oliva, project head of “Sayaw para sa Buhis (Dance for Tax)” and the city’s former treasurer, said tax collection, while a serious undertaking by the city government, could be done through “friendly persuasion.”
“We will dance for you,” she said during the launch, referring to the mode they would use to encourage people and institutions to pay their tax dues.
Under the program, tax collectors and officials of the city government will perform dances in some key areas in the city to remind people of their tax obligations.
According to Oliva, dancing tax collectors will be a means of attracting delinquent taxpayers to come to City Hall or their satellite offices to pay their taxes. The schedules of their performances have yet to be announced.
‘Persuasive coercion,’ too
But Oliva stressed that if taxpayers would not pay their dues through “friendly persuasion,” they would resort to “persuasive coercion,” which included administrative and judicial remedies in compelling delinquents to pay.
For those who would still refuse to pay their taxes, the city government would go the distance and auction their properties, added Oliva.
Oliva, who also used dance as a tax collection method when she was city treasurer (2009 to 2011), noted that the unpaid real property taxes in the city now reached P28 billion, based on the records of the Management Information and Computer Services office.
To ensure a more efficient collection, she said the treasury office would open its tax payment services at its satellite offices at Ayala Central Bloc, CityMall, SM Seaside City Cebu, Gaisano Country Mall, and Robinsons Galleria.
Cebu City’s 80 villages will be divided into six clusters and will be assigned either to the City Treasurer’s Office or to the nearest satellite office.
Cebu City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo was optimistic that through the intensified collection effort, the city would not only exceed its P50-billion target but could even reach a P300-billion revenue collection this year.