USAID, City launch online payment for real property tax

The Online Payment System for Real Property Taxes in the City Government was formally launched Tuesday in support of the objectives of the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) for growth focusing in addressing binding constraints to achieve sustained, more inclusive economic growth.

Mayor Beng Climaco and Jeffrey Lehrer, Director of USAID’s Office of Economic Development and Governance together with executives from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) led by Vice President Ricardo Josef Bandal II spearheaded the launching activity in City Hall highlighted by a live demonstration of online payment by a real property owner.

Mayor Climaco in her message stressed that Zamboanga City is very fortunate to be part of the USAID-SURGE program citing its strategic location that serves not only the periphery of Zamboanga Peninsula but even Basilan Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

She thanked the USAID as well as the DBP and all parties concerned for making the project possible. Zamboanga is a developing city and we look forward to better opportunities at improving our payment system through e-banking with the support and assistance of the USAID, she stressed.

Lehrer said USAID is glad to be of service to the city in line with its commitment to help cities to achieve sustained and more inclusive economic growth. He likewise thanked the local government for partnering with USAID in line with its vision to bring about development and progress for the people of Zamboanga.

For his part Bandal said the online payment system for real property taxes would expand and greatly improve the city’s collection efforts. The new system, he said will provide taxpayers even those outside of the country to settle their real property tax accounts using the internet.

The launching activity was also highlighted by the turnover of DBP prepaid cards for the e-Peso activity to city government beneficiaries of allowances and incentives such as teachers, policemen, jail and fire personnel as well as barangay intelligence network members, health workers, nutrition scholars and other volunteers.

Under the e-Peso activity, the city will disburse allowances and incentives to beneficiaries  through the DBP Prepaid Card, an nitiative that eradicates long queues at the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), enables recipients to withdraw cash in any ATM machine at their convenient time, eradicates personal reprocessing of vouchers in case a recipient failed to get the benefits on the period set for release and provides cashless transaction which is safer and minimizes errors due to eliminated exposure and direct handling of cash. (Sheila Covarrubias)