COA: Ex-San Juan mayor failed to collect over P800 million in taxes from traders, residents

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2019 04:24 PM

MANILA - The administration of former San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez failed to collect a total of P804.613 million from Greenhills businesses and residents during her time in office, the Commission on Audit (COA) has said. 

In its 2018 audit report, COA said the city government failed to collect P68.508 million from Barangay Greenhills residents during Gomez's time in office. 

The amount accounted for almost half of the real property and special education tax delinquencies in the whole city.

The report also noted that there was under-collection of taxes from 8 large businesses in the city amounting to P736.105 million. 

In COA's 2018 audit report on San Juan, government auditors noted that 44.15 percent of the total delinquent taxes amounting to P155.160 million was from Greenhills, which is composed "mostly of private subdivisions, condominiums and commercial establishments and offices."

Other barangays such as St. Joseph, Isabelita, Rivera, Progreso and Onse had delinquencies from P313,000 to P1.5 million each. 

The COA report noted that the city could actually sell delinquent properties through public auction as provided for in the Local Government Code but chose traditional methods of collection such as sending notices of delinquency.

“There were no other remedies undertaken to increase collection of delinquent real property taxes such as [the] issuance or execution of the warrant of levy within one year from the time the tax becomes delinquent,” the COA report noted. 

Auditors also recommended to the former city administration that names of the delinquent taxpayers be published in the city's official website.

A copy of the report was received by Gomez's office on June 11, 2019, just weeks before the end of her term. 

Gomez's administration had told auditors before the final audit report was prepared that they were in the process of intensifying their tax collection.

“The city treasurer promised during the exit conference that efforts will be exerted to intensify collection of delinquent taxes,” the COA report said. 

The report said the 8 business establishments with tax under-collections were Puregold Price Club, Ortigas and Company, Motor Image Pilipinas, Motor Image Manila, Techtron Systems Corp., Colinas Verdes Hospital Managers Corporation, Unimart and Integrated Computer Systems. 

The city treasurer told the audit team that they had difficulties gaining access to information about the companies from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“”Nevertheless, in compliance with COA recommendation, inquiry and coordination with the SEC relative to securing financial statements will be undertaken,” the city treasurer told state auditors. 

The full audit report on San Juan City can be downloaded from the COA website