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February 2, 2009

The Committees on Laws, Ordinances, and Ways and Means will review the
implementation of the Local Revenue Code of Bacolod City in response to complaints of
some taxpayers about the increase in the new rates being imposed by the city.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said it is possible that it is not because of
the law or ordinance itself, but it could be a question of how the rates were implemented
and computed.

He noted that there was a computer error at the start of its implementation which
caused some tricycle drivers and operators to complain, but that had been corrected
already, he said.

Leonardia said Councilors Dindo Ramos and Diosdado Valenzuela, who chair the
Committees on Laws and Ordinances, and Ways and Means, respectively, told him that
they will take another look at the code.

“We are listening to the complaints of the people, and will try to find a solution to it,” he
said.

Leonardia also said the SP would not have passed the Tax Ordinance without a public
hearing, and at the same time, the ordinance would not be effective unless it had gone
through a publication process.

“Let us also consider that our taxes are actually behind other cities.” he also said.

In fact, Bacolod City Treasurer Annabelle Badajos has noted that when she was the city
treasurer of Bago City, they realized that the tax base of Bago was higher than that of
Bacolod, Leonardia said.

If Iloilo had increased its taxes three times already, Bacolod has not increased in 15
years, he said.

Badajos said Bacolod only implemented a 10 percent increase in its taxes since it had
not revised or updated its Local Revenue Code since 1993.

Once every five years, local government units should adjust their rates by not more than
10 percent, based on the LRC, she said.

If they had complied with what the law mandated, maybe this time, the city could have
adjusted its taxes three times already, she said.

But since it did not update its LRC since 1993, they only implemented recently the
increase of 10 percent as mandated by law
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Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella said yesterday he has agreed to the new location of
the two mega flyovers to be constructed in Bacolod City this year, a press release from
his office said.

In a meeting with Department of Public Works and Highways Executive Director Emil
Sadain, Puentevella was informed that DPWH is offering for the transfer of the project
location to the Araneta-Magsaysay and Lacson-Circumferential (Bangga Pepsi)
junctions, the press release said.

Sadain relayed this development to Puentevella following his consultation with various
stakeholders including the city government of Bacolod which is the recipient of the
project, the press release also said.

“I have agreed to the offer of DPWH as it also heeds the desire of the various sectors
and stakeholders who may be directly affected by this project,” Puentevella said.

The final plans will be presented by DPWH in February and construction of the Araneta-
Magsaysay flyover may start sometime March or April this year, the press release said.

“If funds will be available, the second flyover at Bangga Pepsi in Barangay Bata will
immediately follow,” Puentevella added in his press release.

In an interview with the local media, Sadain explained that he has facilitated the
consultation regarding the construction of the project without affecting much of the
stakeholders.

He said this program is essential for the economic progress of the city, with
Congressman Puentevella as a proponent and the mayor as one recipient, the press
release also said.

It also said that on Jan. 12, 2009, Sadain informed Puentevella that the project
consultant Woodfields Consultants Incorporated was on the stage of designing the
flyover together with Geoscience Technologies Incorporated which was employed to
conduct soil/geotechnical investigation.

Sadain also said, “Other areas, which we considered in the selection of the location of
the flyover is the expansion of residential areas in the northern and southern areas of
Bacolod City,” the press release added.*

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A resolution requesting Bacolod Police director, Senior Supt. Ronilo Quebrar, to order a
massive campaign against the reported presence of a syndicated group selling “ecstasy
pills” and victimizing young people in Bacolod City was recently passed by the Bacolod
Sangguniang Panlungsod.

The resolution authored by Councilors Alex Paglumotan, Al Victor Espino and Roberto
Rojas said there are recent reports that a syndicated group is selling the pill known as
“ecstasy,” which is not only dangerous but expensive.

It said that it is one of the major thrusts of the national and local government to
maximize their campaign and to seriously end this social evil, if not cancer, that erodes
the moral fiber of many Filipinos.

Meanwhile, the SP also passed a resolution requesting the Senate and Congress to
conduct inquiries on the status of existing pre-need companies particularly lifetime
insurances, educational pre-need plans, health care, and lifetime pension plans and
bank operations.

The resolution was authored by Paglumotan and Rojas.*CGS

February 3, 2009