Naga bares own bias for business
By Jason B. Neola
|BONGAT: By supporting business, we can be effective servants to our people.|
Multimillion-peso comprehensive drainage plan to bring positive economic impact
NAGA CITY — Admitting his bias for the business sector, Mayor John G. Bongat told businessmen here last week that his administration is seriously pursuing the city’s multimillion-peso comprehensive drainage plan which he regarded as “contributory to building a vibrant business climate.”
Speaking before a jam-packed Aljosh Café and Restaurant here during the June 28 quarterly general membership meeting of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI), Bongat stressed that by supporting business the city government can effectively perform its duties to serve its constituents.
He explained that through business taxes the city government “can do its duties and responsibilities religiously and properly” in the efficient delivery of basic services to the people, especially the less fortunate.
“Economic activities in the city directly result in positive economic impact which achieves a stronger local economy, in particular, and the regional and national economy, in general.”
The city’s comprehensive drainage plan aims to resolve the perennial flooding in the city, especially those in CBD I where 80% of Naga’s business establishments are located.
The city has already spent more than P23-M for the rehabilitation of drainage system and the construction of new ones. Construction of another batch of multimillion-peso drainage projects are now being readied for immediate implementation, according to the City Engineer’s Office.
Data at the city treasurer’s office disclosed that from January to May, this year, more than P120-M has been collected in business tax (P84, 629, 746.40) and real property tax (P35, 442, 156.00) during the first five months of the current year. The revenue obtained in these taxes forms part of the city’s general fund which is being expended for various infra projects.
Bongat also told the businessmen that his administration has been in continuous effort to raise its revenue from business taxes by strengthening its collection efficiency, not by increasing the business tax rates.
As a strong partner of the sector, the local government has committed itself to improve the profitability and marketability of business enterprises by undertaking activities promoting trade and commerce in the city like the establishment of the Barangay GrOW (Growing Opportunities for Wealth) Negosyo which trains barangay-based entreps on how to improve their source of livelihood.
Bongat also mentioned the improvements at the public market. “Through the improvements we made in that iconic public market, we were able to transform it from the dirty and disorganized structure to a clean and orderly mall, to be able to attract more clients and customers,” he added.
“The market is used to be the biggest, single roof public market in Southeast Asia from late 60s to early 70s, which remains to be a silent witness to the growth of the city,” he added.
The Public Market, now renamed Naga City People’s Mall, underwent a massive improvement with the upgrading of the existing Materials Recovery Facility, the construction of additional access stairs and ramps and the round-the-clock garbage collection and the strict implementation of the Anti-Littering Ordinance.
“We also reorganized the market office into Market Enterprise and Promotions Office where the primary task is not only to collect rental fees but to maintain the safety and security in the Mall and ensure that every businessman doing business in the market is realizing profitable income,” he said.