Tax exemption sought for Gotiaoco Building
Tax exemption sought for Gotiaoco Building
Jessica Ann R. Pareja () - January 28, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum Foundation, Inc. (SCHMFI) seeks the exemption from paying the penalties of unpaid real property tax of the Gotiaoco Building last year.

The Foundation, which eyes a Chinese Heritage Museum in the former Gotiaoco Building, took over the lease of the property after it was vacated by some offices of the Cebu City Government.

The Gotiaoco Bldg. is located across City Hall, beside the new Senior Citizens Park.

The Gotianuy Realty turned over the building to SCHMFI last March 2012.

"Since the foundation is still working on the lease extension with the DENR and NRDC and has not occupied the property yet, we hope that the Cebu City Government can waive the penalties imposed," said SCHMFI Director and Chief Curator John Vincent T. Castro and Chairman Bob Gothong.

Based on the assessment of the City Treasurer's Office, the real property tax to be collected for the Gotiaoco Bldg is P92,973.00. Including the penalties, SCHMFI was asked to pay P117,145.98.

SCHMFI executives in their joint letter to Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young appealed that they be exempted from paying the P24,172.98 penalties since they have not occupied the property.

They were advised by the City Treasurer's Office to seek exemption from the council.  The request was referred to the council's Committee on Budget and Finance.

The City Government terminated the lease of the Gotiaoco Building after it was declared unsafe for occupancy. It was triggered by the cracks that the 6.9-magnitude quake last February caused to the building. It was formerly occupied by the Market Operations Division which has now transferred to Tabo-an.

The SCHMFI expressed interest to use the building and convert it into a Museum that will feature the Chinese influence in Cebu way back forgotten years.

The building will be a museum and a Chinese study center for those who want to research about the Chinese influence in Cebu. The museum will display artifacts and documents, among others.

SCHMFI seeks the declaration of the 98-year-old Gotiaoco Building as a heritage site.

According to the research of SCHMFI and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission, the five-story building was built in 1914 by Pedro Gotiaoco, a Chinese trader from Fukien Province in China.

It was one of Cebu's earliest commercial buildings that has contributed to the economic growth of Cebu City at the time. (FREEMAN)

 

BUDGET AND FINANCE BUILDING CASTRO AND CHAIRMAN BOB GOTHONG CEBU CEBU CITY CEBU CITY GOVERNMENT CHINESE HERITAGE MUSEUM CITY TREASURER GOTIAOCO BLDG GOTIAOCO BUILDING SCHMFI
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