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PIA Press Release

New technology to bolster realty tax collections of local governments

Dumaguete City (30 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo addressed yesterday a conference that would help the local government units to tap its high amount of taxation power and raise more revenues for development projects.

The President was the guest of honor and keynote speaker of the two-day International Conference on Integrated Taxation System with the theme: "iTAX -- a Milestone for Local Government Finance" being held at the Negros Oriental Convention Center here.

Around 500 government executives and participants from donor funding institutions, provincial governors, assessors, treasurers and finance experts, IT experts and computer programmers gathered in Dumaguete City to discuss means to enhance the local governments' tax collection through the use of a software "integrated taxation system."

The iTAX project is funded by the German government through the GTZ-RP-German Cooperative Fiscal Decentralization Project with the province of Negors Oriental as the pilot project area.

The organizers noted that "There is a high amount of taxation power in the local government which is still untapped. Substantial revenue coming from local taxes like real property tax, business tax, special education fund, among others, have yet to be fully realized."

Case in point in the conference is the poor realty tax collection of local government units (LGUs) where only about 50 percent is realized.

The Negros version of iTax is now a modern computer-based tax assessment and collection tool for LGUs.

It answers the specific needs of the municipal assessors and treasurers and involves all functions like payment and collection, assessment and tax mapping.

The system is jointly owned by the Philippine and German governments. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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