EditorialEditorial - Dumaguete paradox

Editorial – Dumaguete paradox

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Is it possible for a City to be bustling with economic activity yet remain poor? This is a paradox Dumaguete City finds itself in.

The vaunted economic boom in Dumaguete, resulting from the employment of some 3,000 people in call centers and other allied businesses, has yet to find its way to the City’s coffers. {{more}}

Unofficial estimates peg Dumaguete’s economic growth at 30 percent — more than quadruple the national government’s highest growth figures in recent years. Dumaguete is growing. Like any growing family for that matter, it would need a bigger income to support its growing needs.

But that is not quite the case. The tax collection efficiency of Dumaguete is not growing at 30 percent. In the last three years, Dumaguete has seen a tax increase of only P10 million. “It’s decreasing, percentage wise,” Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria said in a recent investment forum.

The irony is that while the City’s tax collection efficiency remains low, the increased economic activity in Dumaguete resulting from the money pumped in by these call centers estimated to be not less than P20 million each month has resulted in an increase in the demand for services from the City.

People now are calling for more police visibility to address criminality. People want more traffic enforcers in the streets. People want garbage to be collected more frequently.

This is a challenge to Dumaguetenos, especially those who benefi t from this economic boom. If we want Dumaguete to be peaceful, beautiful, and clean, it would only be natural that everyone would do his or her share toward making this vision happen.

Otherwise, something will have to give. The City would be hard put in complying with all the salary requirements for its staff, especially with a pay increase coming in January, if our taxes remain the same.

Dumaguete is beautiful not because of any accident. Dumaguete is beautiful because we who live here make it so. And we have a choice on what we want Dumaguete to become by the amount of taxes that we pay.



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