Friday, March 25, 2011

BM Uy: No to tax increase on productive agricultural lands

By Brando Cortez BALUNGAO-Farmers fear that the delay in the release of budget for the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems will not help in the government’s goal of increasing rice production in Pangasinan for this year.
Region 1 Farmers Irrigators Association President Oftociano Manalo, Jr. said that the National Irrigation Administration Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project Budget (NIA ARIIP) has not received its budget for repair and rehabilitation.
The farmers irrigators associations are partners of NIA ARIIP in the operation and maintenance of irrigation systems...

Manalo criticized government for bragging of its budget surplus but has not been showing full support to the farmers by not releasing the budget for irrigation along the Agno River.
“Kailan lang nabasa ko sa newspaper na ipinagmamalaki ng gobyerno na may surplus na P13.4B,” Manalo said. “May surplus nga sa budget pero may deficit naman sa sebisyo sa mga magsasaka.”
“Mukhang madali lang ang magsaka kung ang ginagamit mo ay ballpen at ang inaarao mo ay papel at ikaw naman ay nasa isang airconditioned na opisina,” Manalo said.
“Magandang pakingan ang P13.4B na budget surplus,” Manalo said. “ Pero hindi magiging magandang pakingan ang pagkakaroon ng pagbaba ng anis a bigas dahil sa kwalan ng ponod sa irrigation.”
Manalo said that he was present in Nueva Ecija when Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala urged the NIA to speed up the repair of major irrigation systems to further increase the country’s palay production.
“Madiin ang bilin ni Secretary Alcala na madaliin ang pagsasaayos ng mga irrigation systems,” Manalo said. “Pero kung wala naman ibinababa na budget, hindi mararating ang target production increase.”
Manalo said the farmers are depending on the immediate repair and rehabilitation of irrigation canals for the next cropping season.
Manalo stressed the importance of having cheap water through irrigation systems as compared to the use of water pumps considering the continuing increases in the price of oil.
“Napakahalaga ng patubig na nagmumula sa irrigation system dahil mas mura ito kumpara sa paggamit ng water pump,” Manalo said. “Lalo na ngayong patuloy ang pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo.”
He said that the farmers have faith in Secretary Alcala’s goal of reaching rice sufficiency in 2013 and believe that the budget for the repair of irrigation systems in Pangasinan will be released immediately.
Manalo also expressed fears that it will be very difficult to institute irrigation when the the rainy season sets in.
“Sana, maipagpatuloy na ng NIA ARIIP ang mga repair,“ Manalo said. “Mahirap mag-repair ng patubig sa panahon ng tag-ulan.”
BM Uy: No to tax increase on productive agricultural lands
By Brando Cortez
LINGAYEN-Fifth District Board Member Danny Uy shared his thoughts on the real property tax code of the Province of Pangasinan.
Uy said that he favors increases in commercial areas but this should be reasonable and just.
“Commercial areas are profit oriented,“ BM Uy said. “Taxes should be levied on these areas.”
On the other hand, BM Uy said that real property taxes on productive agricultural lands should not be levied additional real property taxes because the farmers are putting land into good use.
“The farmers who make good use of agricultural land should not be burdened with additional real property taxes,” BM Uy said. “There is no reason for government to impose additional burden on farmers for making land productive.”
The real property tax has been considered and held to be national, despite the fact that in practice it is local in its imposition and utilization.
Real property taxation covers the levy, assessment and collection of annual ad valorem tax.
Special levies by Local government Units (LGUs) include a) Additional 1% for special education fund, b) Additional 5% on idle lands, and c) Special assessments on property benefited by improvements undertaken by the government.
BM UY said that farmers from the fifth district of Pangasinan have come to him complaining of the new real property tax code.
He said that the farmers are saying that they have not recovered from the damages to their crops and properties done by typhoons of the previous years.
Farmers say that the new round of tax increases is unfair and unreasonably excessive.
Farmers are complaining that they were not notified of any consultations or public hearings before the passage of the real property tax code.
An ordinance usually goes through public hearings or public consultations following the constitutional principle of ‘right to due process’ and then 10 days after approval, the said ordinance should be published in a newspaper of general circulation.
Abono Party-list President Ponciano Onia Jr. said that they recognize the need of the provincial government for more taxes to replenish its depleted treasury but it should follow requisite rules as provided by the law with emphasis on the need of consultations with the people affected by the tax ordinance prior to its approval and implementation.

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