ILOILO – With primarily small farmers in mind, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) approved an ordinance granting amnesty to delinquent real property taxpayers.
Provincial Ordinance No. 2019-198 aims “to lessen their burden of paying taxes because of the penalties and interests imposed for non-payment,” according to SP member Domingo Oso, ordinance sponsor.
“This is in line with the social justice thrust of Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. Those who have less in life should have more in law,” added Oso.
Many landowners and farmers were adversely affected by the El Niño phenomenon, he said, and this hindered the capability of real property owners to pay taxes on time.
“Kon indi mabayaran kada tuig, naga-compound so mabudlayan sila sa pagbayad, especially sa natabo sa El Niño,” said Oso.
The province was placed under a state of calamity due to El Niño or prolonged dry spell on May 31. Provincial Ordinance Number 2019-198 cied “great damages and failure of agricultural crops in various municipalities.”
Due to the adverse effects of the drought, Oso said, the economy suffered from recurring increases in the prices of oil, farm chemicals and fertilizers among other agricultural inputs.
Oso said the tax amnesty will be until Dec. 31 this year.
By December, farmers could have already secured their harvest, which would allow them to become financially able to pay their taxes, he explained.
But the SP can also extend the amnesty period.
“In the event that only a few farmers are able to pay come the deadline, we can amend the ordinance granting an extension for at least one or two more months,” said Oso.
Under the approved tax amnesty ordinance, the provincial government grants 100 percent relief on interest and penalties for delinquent real property taxes until Dec. 31, 2019 applicable exclusively to the following:
a. real properties which are undeclared and subject to taxes
b. real properties which are declared and the real property tax has not been paid
c. delinquent properties auctioned by the province and for lack of bidders, were subsequently brought by the Province of Iloilo, the tax declaration of which had not yet been transferred to the Province of Iloilo
Not covered by the tax amnesty ordinance are the following:
a. real properties of pending cases in court for real property tax delinquencies
b. real properties with tax delinquencies which are being paid under a compromise agreement (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)