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Friday, October 21, 2011

QC TAX MEASURE A BIG BOOST TO HOUSING

The Quezon City government has moved one big step forward in its effort to provide decent, affordable and safe shelter to qualified informal settlers and low-income families in the city starting next year.

With the passage of the QC socialized housing tax (SHT) ordinance, QC Hall will be able to earn additional revenue of P185 million annually in the next five years to fund the pro-poor housing program of Mayor Herbert M. Bautista.

Mayor Bautista will sign into law the ordinance with members of the Local Housing Board as witnesses in simple ceremonies at the Bulwagang Amoranto on Tuesday (Oct. 25) at 10 in the morning.

At the same time, the brief presentation and explanation of the ordinance will be presented in the session hall, including a sample computation on how to derive the SHT, for better understanding of the new tax measure.

The 26-member City Council passed on third and final reading last Monday the ordinance that was originally introduced by Councilor Edcel “Grex” Lagman, Jr. of District 4.

The new ordinance imposes a special assessment of 0.05 percent tax on all real properties assessed at P100,000 and above to generate much needed funds for the QC housing program.

Mayor Bautista thanked the councilors for the prompt passage of the measure.

Quezon City has more than 230,000 informal settler families, most of them living in danger zones such as creeks and riversides.

The QC government expects that, after a 5-year period, the socialized housing program shall be able to finance itself out of the takeout mechanisms of the Pag-Ibig Fund and from the amortization payments of the beneficiaries. “This is the reason that no dwelling unit under the program is free. Beneficiaries must payback consistently and faithfully, so that the money can be rolled over and used to finance more housing units,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Bautista also expressed gratitude to the city’s middle class real property taxpayers, who will be instrumental for the success of the city’s socialized housing program, as they will be the most affected sector once the measure is implemented.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga middle class nating mga kababayan dahil malayo ang mararating ng kanilang ipapahiram na pera na ibabayad sa socialized housing tax, maraming mga mahihirap at walang tirahan ang kanilang matutulungan,” Bautista said.

At the same time, he warned informal settlers that the city government will be strict in the selection process for the city’s socialized housing program, only those who can afford the monthly amortizations will qualify for in-city relocation under the housing program.

But, the mayor explained that those who have no means to benefit from the city-financed housing program will be assisted under the outside-city relocation program of the National Housing Authority (NHA) to areas in San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and Rodriguez in Rizal.

He also reiterated his warning to barangay officials who will allow informal settlers to build new colonies within their jurisdiction that they shall face charges in accordance with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular MC-2011-017.

With the passage of the SHT measure, the city government will be funding the QC housing projects without sacrificing other priorities like implementing third tranche of the salary standardization for city-paid workers; social services, particularly for education needs; flood control infrastructure and disaster risk management; garbage collection and dumpsite management; and maintenance and energization of almost 50,000 streetlights. Maureen QuiƱones, PAISO

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