By Mortz C. Ortigoza
URDANETA CITY – The investors’ friendly projection of the administration of Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez III and his personnel’s efficient tax collection become the spark plug of this burgeoning city’s infrastructure binge.
Mayor Perez said that based on a year-on-year real property tax (RPT) collection, his administration chalked up P66.5 million in year 2013 versus the P64.3 million it collected in year 2012.
“Urdaneta City has the biggest RPT collection in Region 1,” a source, who asked anonymity at the city hall, said.
The mayor explained in the past that despite the absence of any tax hike in the last ten years, this city’s tax collection efficiency spikes every year.
The mayor said the drivers of the economic boom here are the constructions of infrastructure facilities and farm-to-market roads.
Building of these facilities not only generates jobs to people but expedites movement of goods and services.
One of the big ticket businesses that put shop here was the Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (APTC)
According Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture the establishment of APTCs throughout the country is in line with the Aquino government's continuing efforts to enable small farmers earn more profit. These farmers will now have a venue where they can market their products directly to institutional buyers.
Another investment that entered here last January was the 144 vendor stalls’ Xentromart Bagsakan (entrepot) considered as the biggest agri-trade center in Pangasinan.
These APTCs are expected not only to provide thousands of livelihood opportunities for residents but additional revenues for the local government.
In 2013 this city led the pack of cities in Region 1 with the highest annual appropriation of P637 million, while the cities of Dagupan, and Laoag have P612 million and P575 million, respectively.
Mayor Perez earlier said that this city’s, known as cattle and vegetable entrepot in Northern Luzon, economic trump card is her Urdaneta City University that gives P150 million revenue last year for the city coffer as reflected on her general appropriation fund.
He explained that the sum complemented the P637 million 2013 fiscal’s appropriation that made Urdaneta the highest earning city in Region 1.
He cited that UCU use to earn more than P200 million a year in the past but due to the lethargic demand of Filipino nurses abroad, it settled to the P150 million mark.
He explained that even the P150 million is included in the general fund, this city does not get any cent from it. “Sa kanila (UCU) na iyon. Part sa income (of the city) pero para sa kanila na lang iyon. Pumapasok lang sa general fund,” he stressed.