Manila businessmen are transferring to nearby cities because of heavy taxes, 5th District Rep. Amado Bagatsing on Monday disclosed as he vowed to form a business-friendly city if he wins the mayoralty race in the May 2016 polls.
Bagatsing, who is facing reelectionist Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and former mayor Alfredo Lim, claimed he received various complaints from business owners and investors in the city of Manila this first half January.
He cited mall and medium enterprises that could not afford the 314 percent increase in business taxes and the 200 percent increase in real property taxes, which took effect when Estrada was elected in 2013.
Bagatsing, son of former Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing, said he was very much concerned when businessmen came up to him and admitted they could no longer endure the increase of taxes, prompting them to transfer to other areas in Metro Manila, such as Quezon City, Pasay City, Makati City, and even Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
He said the decision of the businessmen has affected residents who lost their jobs and income opportunities.
“Let us just focus our attention on the matter, look at the business establishments in Ermita, Malate and Escolta. A lot of businesses have shut down and have transferred to other cities. Having said this, remaining business owners in the area now have been suffering a lot, because aside from soaring business and real property taxes, they get absolutely no support from the local government. A lot of promises have been made, but none of them transpired. What’s the use of promises and flowery words? What the people and the Manilenos need are concrete solutions,” the three-term lawmaker noted.
“Based on the statements that I have gathered from people I’ve spoken with, they asserted that there’s no problem with the implementation of higher taxes, provided that good returns and better services can be expected from the government. Unfortunately, this is not the case,” he said.
He also disclosed that his legal team is considering other options to help Manila traders.
“So far, we are now looking into various solutions by which we can lessen the burden of the investors and the Manilenos, which will help them pay taxes easier, while other possibilities and ways are now being undertaken by our legal team,” Bagatsing said.
Last year, he appeared before the 100 officials of the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. where he laid down his platform and programs for the city of Manila.