CAPITOL WANTS THIS PRACTICE STOPPED
Twenty-two municipalities have no cockpit amusement taxes remitted to the province for years now, according to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO) record that is not amusing to the new capitol administration’s drive for faithful revenue generation.
In shark contrast, only four local government units—Alicia, Pilar, Talibon and Trinidad—regularly paid to the provincial government.
The amusement tax is 30% of the gross receipt of cockpit admission fees. The LGU collects it in full, retains its 15% and remits the other half to the province as the latter’s share.
The LGUs having no amusement tax paid in previous years until at present are Anda, Antequera, Bien Unido, Buenavista, Candijay, Carmen, Dagohoy, Danao, Dimiao, Garcia-Hernandez, Getafe, Inabanga, Jagna, Lila, Loay, Loboc, Pres. Garcia, Sagbayan, San Isidro, Sevilla, Sierra-Bullones and Ubay.
The amusement taxes in Tagbilaran City, although still a component city of the province unlike the big cities in Cebu, have gone to city hall.
Provincial Treasurer Eustaquio Socorin announced in a meeting with the cockpit operators, managers and repesentatives at People’s Mansion on Wednesday the strategy of the province under Gov. Edgar Chatto on efficient tax collection.
Under Chatto’s leadership, capitol recently generated P1.2 million in sand/gravel/quarry taxes, fees and fines in just one quarter as against the only over P200,000 collected for the entire year in the past.
Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II explained that the province now simply wants to be transparent and efficient in generating revenues.
Higher collections, after all, are returned to the people thru government projects, supports and services, he stressed.
Socorin echoed, saying the government has to maximize revenue collection as the people expect much from the government they trust in. “Taxes are the lifeblood of the government.”
The cities and towns have wider scopes to levy than the province, which has only seven taxing powers that include the taxes on the transfer of real property ownership, business of printing and publication, and franchise.
The four others involve imposition of amusement, professional, and sand/gravel/quarry taxes, and the annual fixed tax on delivery trucks.
The governor called the meeting but was pressed to send his provincial administrator because the Department of Interior and Local Government and Local Government Academy chose him to be one of the important presentors in the Conference of Climate Change Adaptation for Local Economic Development in Manila on the same day.
Cockpit operators and their representatives understood their obligation, but one of them from San Miguel was surprised to see the PTO record showing that the LGU had “no AT (amusement tax) paid in 2009, only in Sept. 2010 in the amount of P6,911.”
He claimed that the cockpit management there had paid the LGU P15,000 and P5,000, respectively, for two derbies, prodding him to wonder where had all the money gone.
In Bien Unido, the cockpit management had allegedly long paid amusement taxes to the LGU yet no remittance to the provincial treasury was made per record.
In the same meeting, cockpit operators chanced to revive their want for a relaxed implementation of Presidential Decree No. 449 or the Cockfighting Law of 1974 which, according to Police Provincial Director Constantino Paul Barot, Jr. who was also in the meeting, yet needs legal consultation.
Barot even gave them his personal mobile phone number for direct contact in response to their complaint against illegal hackfights outside licensed cockpits. Town police officers have been inutile against the said unlawful activities.
There is one disturbing report, however, that many cockpits in Bohol are themselves operating without necessary franchises and permits.
The PTO record says these towns had their last payment of amusement tax in 2010—Batuan in the month of May; Calape, October; Corella, December; Tubigon, June. Clarin had last paid in November, 2009. Balilihan has yet to remit its August 2009-present collection.
The Tubigon case is unique since there was a tax remittance last year even if the cockpit there collected no admission fee. The management was forced to adopt free admission because of the competing rampant illegal hackfights called tukis.
The cockpit in San Isidro has no admission fee, too, which explains why the PTO recorded no remittances. However, the cockpit has reportedly been leased to a new management for some time now.
Guindulman remitted to the province only as of July, 2010 and not in 2009 while Valencia has no remittance since February 2010 until at present.
Dauis paid amusement tax of P100 only in March 2009 and P800 in September 2010. Loon remitted P26,645 for June 2009 and P1,800 only from September 2010. Mabini had only P250 for 2009 but paid regularly in 2010.
Maribojoc had no payment in 2009, only in 2010 but for April-July period while Panglao paid in January and October 2010.
The PTO record further shows that Pilar cockpit operators regularly paid in 2009 and 2010.
Although most of them have delinquent monthly accounts for 2010, only 16 towns either totally or partially remitted to the province for the same year, with Alicia leading the top five at P40,347; Calape at P17,200; Pilar, P12,382; Panglao, P9,915; and Mabini, P8576.
The PTO record has remarks of no cockpit operation for Alburquerque, Baclayon, Bilar, Catigbian, Cortes, Duero and Sikatuna.
Socorin said he will personally visit and enter the cockpits on regular cockfight days “to observe for data-banking,” which is vital to get a “realistic estimate” of amusement tax collection.