TACLOBAN CITY- An official of this city disclosed that they are on target of hitting their goal on collecting business taxes for this year. In fact, for the past three months of this year, they were able to collect P76.2 million. This means, they need only more than P43 million to attain their goal of P120 million for this year, said lawyer Irene Chiu,executive assistant of Mayor Alfred Romualdez assigned at the City Licensing Business and Permits Division. With nine moths more to cover, Chiu said that they are very optimistic that they could attain or even surpass their P120 million goal.
The income of Tacloban suffered extensively when it was hit by supertyphoon “Yolanda” more than a year ago as several businesses ceased to operate after the disaster. Chiu said that they are intensifying their tax mapping operations on business establishments operating in Tacloban but have yet to secure business licenses.

For the past three months, they were able to cite 61 establishments operating without securing business permit. The owners of these establishments were directed to secure business permits otherwise they will be slap with sanctions, Chiu said. Chiu said that as of last week of March, there were 148 new businesses that opened in Tacloban with 3,836 renewed their business permits. “We are optimistic that more business establishments will be coming to Tacloban this year. In fact, the Red Ribbons and Marikina Shoe Exchange will be opening soon,” Chiu said.

Meantime, Chiu said that as part of their campaign to attract more investors to come to Tacloban, to include tourists as well, they are now in the process of organizing activities related to the annual fiesta of the city this June 30. Chiu, who is part of the organizing committee on the city fiesta, however, stressed that considering of the financial condition of the city government, they would not be spending much for the fiesta. “Some of the activities will be sponsored by some corporations. We have not yet finalized as to how much we’ll allocate for the fiesta,”Chiu said. (JOEY A. GABIETA)