CEBU, Philippines - Several properties owned by private individuals and corporations in Cebu City that include registered and unregistered lots, buildings and machines will be auctioned next month.
This after the owners of these properties failed to redeem the forfeited properties due to non-payment of taxes until the deadline set by the City Treasurer’s Office.
Acting City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva said that the deadline ended yesterday but it seems that owners of the properties with tax delinquencies have abandoned their assets.
A list provided by CTO shows that some of these properties were already registered in the name of the City through Transfer Certificate of Titles.
These include Cebu Autobus Co., Citi Center Commercial Complex, Citi Center Corporation and other individual properties that have tax obligations since 2003.
Other properties were also awarded to private individuals and entities and they may fully possess the lots, machines and buildings soon.
Southwestern University and Sacred Heart Hospital are included in the CTO list with tax delinquencies in real properties since 2005.
The said two institutions have also refused to pay their business taxes amounting to millions of pesos despite the final demand letter sent by the city government.
Oliva said that the city is now preparing for the garnishment or levying of the properties of these institutions together with the other proprietary schools and hospitals.
The University of Cebu, which also has unsettled realty taxes, is reportedly talking with the city government for an amicable settlement.
Oliva, however, made it clear that those properties which have not redeemed until yesterday will be included in the public auction next month.
“We have given them time to avail the redemption privilege pero ug wala gyud sila mo-avail, amo gyong i-apil ilang properties sa auction karong February,” Oliva said.
It was learned that the city council passed a resolution last July allowing taxpayers to redeem their forfeited properties until yesterday.
This as the properties auctioned in 2007 were mostly residential and taking them away from the owners will likely increase the number of informal settlers in the city.
In the previous interview, Oliva promised to institute some measures that will enhance the tax collection efficiency in the city.
This will include public auction, garnishment of bank accounts and levying of properties of delinquent taxpayers, among others.
The city though ranked first among 16 cities in Central Visayas in terms of efficiency in real property tax collection for the third quarter of 2009.
As of September 30, 2009, Cebu City got a 120.03 percent collection efficiency rating based on a report from the Bureau of Local Government Finance 7.
Following Cebu City is Dumaguete City with a collection efficiency rating of 109.84 percent; Bais City with 106.56 percent, Mandaue City with 98.06 percent, and Toledo City with 97.67 percent. — Elly Bolonos/BRP (THE FREEMAN)