Issue of January 8, 2017

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Multiple sources seen to boost revenue generation of city
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

Various sources of revenue are available for the city government for the funding of more development projects if the concerned bodies, including the city council, will do its bidding and work things out soon.

On top of income boosting sources for the city is once the city council passes revenue measures that basically adjust the valuation schedules of real property taxes and garbage collection, sewerage, and market fees; as well as if the proposed amendments on the city’s tax ordinance,  already antiquated according to the Bureau of Local Government Finance, finally take effect.

In his weekly media forum last week, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the passage of these adjustments is substantial, would mean a lot for the city’s development programs, and the city could afford to have more than P2 billion annual budget in 2018. The city council recently passed the 2017 annual budget at P1.7B.

He also appealed to the city council to already ratify the Asin hydro plant contract. He said once confirmed, the period of six months given to the winning bidder to secure the permits for the hydro operation will start. With or without permit, the winning bidder is already obliged to pay about P60M to P70M for the first year to the city, he said.

Once fixed, the Ganza parking at Harrison Road could also be an income source, as well as having a more permanent staging area of the night market from the current Harrison Road to the side portions of the Melvin Jones football grounds.

Domogan said the income from the night market, which averages more than P1M every month, shall soon be the amount used for the maintenance and development of Burnham Park.

The mayor said a refurbished Baguio Convention Center could also entitle the city for more revenues as it may impose increased fees once it has been improved.

He also hopes for the renovation of the Mines View Park multipurpose building to be finalized so that business there will resume for the benefit of both renters and the city.

Domogan also hopes that the detailed cost estimate of structures planned for the former city auditorium area will soon be completed so that the next step could already be explored.

He said the city will also soon bid out the operation of Asin Hot Spring Resort to a competent entity so that it will resume earning income.

Some quarters have also expressed interest in operating the 100-year old Diplomat Hotel, now Dominican Retreat House, under a public-private partnership scheme.

“I am confident we will exceed P2 billion mark for 2018 if these will materialize, especially the revenue measures pending at the city council.  We will not achieve planned projects if they will not act on this,” Domogan said.

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