Malabon City computerizes data, transactions in tax collection
MANILA, Philippines — In line with its ambitious bid to collect P1 billion in revenues 2014, the Malabon City government said it has computerized its revenue-generating departments to ensure efficient and streamlined tax and fee collection, among others.
Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta III said that the computerization and automation program would primarily be implemented in the city’s revenue-generating departments.
“We’ve already finished the computerization of these units, and eventually, we will encode relevant data to help with our processes,” Oreta said in an interview.
He noted that the computerization would help attain the city’s target of earning P1 billion for the first time in its history next year.
“With these computerization and automation initiatives, we hope to eliminate pilferage of the city’s revenues. We also hope to eliminate fixers in the process,” Oreta said.
Rhoderick Torres, Oreta’s executive assistant, explained in detail the computerization process the city government has embarked on.
“The city hall has never been efficient in collecting taxes. But right now, we want to correct that. This computerization initiative will see everything from land registry records to the list of actual taxpayers be stored in a computerized database,” he said.
A number of tools will also help the city government efficiently collect taxes, such as the geographic information system (GIS).
“With the GIS map, we can see, for example, the houses or the establishments, which do not pay taxes. We can see which roads have been overrun by houses, among others,” Torres said.
Aside from eliminating pilferage, Torres said the computerization and automation would benefit the taxpayers themselves.
“Because of the automation, people can expect that payment and other processes they have to go through in the City Hall will become much easier. If before they went through 10 steps, now, maybe, because there are no papers circulating, it would be reduced to just four,” he said.
“There will be less or no pilferage and fixers because this new process will be contact-less, meaning the taxpayers or the people do not, as much as possible, need to settle businesses with people,” Torres added.
But while the computerization and automation will make the process easy, a number of City Hall employees will lose their jobs.
“But they don’t need to worry, because we will not lay off any employee,” Torres said. “Those whose positions will be made redundant by the automation will be transferred to departments offering front-line services, such as housing, urban poor, and health, among others,” Torres said.
The computerization cost the city government a one-time payment to the contractor of P3.8 million, which covers training, rollout and setup of the equipment, and a monthly P200,000 payment to use the software license.
“The system we procured is also the one being used by cities such as Marikina and Valenzuela, meaning they are tried and tested,” he said.
Departments affected by the computerization and automation include accounting, budget, point of sale and cashier, assessor, business licensing and permits, and treasury, among others.
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