The mushrooming casino resort operations in Parañaque City have contributed the biggest chunk to the local government’s revenue collection.
Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the entry of the business units has “increased the city’s annual income to P5 billion last year compared to P2 billion collection during the previous administration.”
Among the top business top taxpayers were the Philippines’ biggest players in the sprawling 100-hectare Entertainment City. They were recently recognized by the local government during the 3rd Sunduan Festival.
Leading the list was the Belle Corp., developer of the City of Dreams Manila, that paid a real property tax amounting to P135.9 million in 2015.
City of Dreams Manila soft-opened in December 2014 and had a grand launch February last year. It covers about two hectares of gaming space, more than 900 hotel rooms operated under three hotel brands (namely Crown, Hyatt and Nobu), the DreamPlay indoor amusement park and approximately two hectares of restaurant and retail space.
Belle, once a dormant mining and oil exploration company before shifting its focus toward property development in 1989, also owns significant real estate assets in and around Tagaytay City, Cavite.
Next to Belle was the SM Group of Companies for paying business and real property tax amounting to P80.5 million for its three supermalls in the city, namely SM City Sucat, SM City BF Parañaque and SM City Bicutan.
Other top business taxpayers were Bloomberry Resorts Corp. (BRC), developer of Solaire Resort & Casino of port mogul Enrique Razon; the D.M. Wenceslao and Associates Inc. (DMWAI), project developer of Entertainment City; and the Manila Bay Development Corp. (MBDC), a construction consultancy and management firm.
Bloomberry, which gained an auspicious headstart over other private gaming operators in the Entertainment City, paid P55 million in real property tax last year.
DMWAI contributed P46.6 million to the city coffers in 2015, while MBDC added P34.9 million in real tax payment.
Olivarez recalled that in 2013, the city government had been plagued by a huge budget deficit. The Commission on Audit and the local treasury discovered that Parañaque had an outstanding loan of P2 billion with the Land Bank of the Philippines and another P2.7-billion cash deficit.
The mayor noted that massive developments are taking place in the city, “which is why investors are pouring in huge capital with an estimated amount of over $10 billion in the Entertainment City.”
He said the City of Dreams Manila, which he described as “an electrifying, innovative and diverse entertainment destination,” played a major role in the development of the city.
Olivarez added that aside from the taxes that they can generate from these multibillion-peso projects, “we can efficiently deliver the basic services, like school and hospital buildings and generate thousands of jobs to city residents.”