Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian
By Mortz C. Ortigoza, MPA
DAGUPAN CITY – “Enough for the internal squabbling and tax cheats in Dagupan City,” blurted by a political spectator who asked anonymity.
He said that this city should emulate the revenue-turn-around of a once laggard Metro Manila city Valenzuela.
He explained that unlike this city’s sluggish tax collection, Valenzuela City under the visionary and aggressive leadership of incumbent mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian steered a revenue “revolution” that bode well for the residents there.
“Valenzuela was cited by the Department of Finance in 2008 for tax efficiency registering 109.5 percent increase in collection”.
Valenzuela , a revenue efficiency record holder, has a fiscal budget of P900 million in 2004 that ricocheted to P2.1 billion in 2009 under the watch of Mayor Gatchalian.
The improved revenue, according to him, allowed Mayor Gatchalian to increase allocation to education, health, and other basic services.
“Enough for the “internecine warfare” between the vice mayor (Belen Fernandez) and her allies in the Sangguniang Panglungsod (Dagupan City Council) versus Mayor Benjie S. Lim”.
He explained that this city, a once premier city in Northern Luzon, has been eclipsed by the cities of Urdaneta and Laoag with a fiscal appropriation of P641 million and P600 million (2011 budget), respectively.
“Ito siyempre sa SP. Ang ating pinaguusapan P581 million, iyong ibang cities na malapit sa atin P650 million, P700 million, P800 million (appropriation a year). Ang Baguio City is about a billion of pesos na ang pinag-uusapan. Samantala tayo P581 million, tapos nag-aaway pa tayo!, “this city administrator Vlad Mata lamented earlier on this paper.
This city settled for P581 budget this year after the stalling council grudgingly, just like what it did last year, gave its delayed vote for the budget that was only approved in April 2012.
The source said that the Bangus City should deal with business establishments that cheated their business tax at the expense of this city.
“Mayor Lim should emulate Mayor Gatchalian “out of the box” strategies in catapulting Valenzuela City as one of the premier cities in Metro Manila,” the source said.
Under his leadership, Valenzuela has been named as one of the must business –friendly cities in the Philippines as recognized by the World Bank and International Finance Corp on its 2011 report.
He said Valenzuela City was No. 1 in terms of ease in registering property; No. 4 in terms of ease of starting a business; No. 6 in ease of dealing with construction permits. (You can read the author’s selected thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org).