By Jose Santino Bunachita
PIO Reporter

CEBU CITY (November 22, 2022) — City councilors want more consultations to be made first before approving the proposed ordinance to raise tax rates next year.

Majority floor leader Councilor Joy Pesquera said the proposed ordinance is “premature.”

This, after Atty. Jerone Castillo, Mayor Mike Rama’s special assistant on finance matters, said they are still about to schedule forums and consultations in the different barangays in the coming weeks.

City Councilors Noel Wenceslao and Joy Pesquera. (PIO/File)

“If they are still planning to go barangay by barangay, then this submission of the proposed ordinance is premature,” Councilor Pesquera said.

She said the executive department should do the consultations per barangay first, so if there are oppositions or suggestions on the proposed tax hikes, it can be incorporated in the proposed ordinance.

The proposal includes the raising of real property taxes (RPT) and business taxes, as well as the regulatory fees the City Government collects for its different services.

If they are still planning to go barangay by barangay, then this submission of the proposed ordinance is premature.

City Councilor Joy Pesquera

Atty. Castillo represented the executive department in a public hearing the City Council called on the proposed ordinance, which Councilor Noel Wenceslao authored.

Castillo said they already called for a meeting with the different barangay captains to solicit their comments on the proposal.

Castillo. (PIO/File)

“We consulted everybody before submitting the measure to you,” he told the council members.

“This is a deliberative process. From our end, before we did these things, we conducted due diligence,” he added.

Castillo, however, admitted that the mayor’s office is yet to conduct barangay-to-barangay consultations. He assured, though, that these are already being scheduled.

He said that for one, they will soon go to barangays Buhisan and Mambaling, which requested for a consultation with the residents on the proposed tax increase. The other barangays will be scheduled next.

City Councilor Noel Wenceslao (back to camera) in a huddle with Atty. Jerone Castillo (in white) and other city councilors, as Acting Vice Mayor Dondon Hontiveros looks on. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

He also said a consultation was also made with businessmen.

“How about our farmers? How about those people who own parcels of land by inheritance, especially in the mountain barangays? Did they ever express their sentiments that they are in favor of this proposed ordinance?” Pesquera asked.

City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos wants the executive department to conduct an extensive consultation with the different barangays. (PIO/Allan Cuizon)

For her part, minority Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos said she, too, wants more consultations and follow through with the different barangays to extensively solicit their comments on the proposal.

She said the executive department should first finish with all the consultations before submitting the final proposal to the city council for deliberation and approval. #