Large Taxpayers Division – Cebu ready to face challenges of change, launches “kaisa sa pagbabago” 2017 tax campaign in simple but festive mood

CEBU CITY� The Large Taxpayers Division (LTD) - Cebu of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officially launched its 2017 Tax Campaign at the Grand Convention Center of Cebu.

The kickoff program was quite simple compared to previous years � simple yet stylish and festive that is very typical of celebrations only the Queen City of the South can proudly dish out.

LTD � Cebu Chief Ma. Socorro O. Lozano opened the gathering of Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operating Officers of large taxpayers, officials of audit firms, tax practitioners, students, former and active BIR Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) officials, BIR National, Regional and Revenue District officials and other stakeholders. The event also coincided with the 15th founding anniversary of LTD-Cebu.

Displaying her usual self despite being indisposed, the ever-smiling top lady boss of LTD-Cebu was simply overflowing in thanking her more than 200-strong taxpayers for their unwavering support and immensely significant contributions.

She asked everyone to do different things and to do things differently in the face of the challenges engendered by the current dispensation's change agenda. She stressed the critical role of taxpayers in tax compliance saying it is a key component in the government's change platform. She then asked for her taxpayers' continued support and to deliver on their commitment by paying the correct amount of taxes.

Chief Lozano welcomed ninety (90) newly-enlisted taxpayers of LTD � Cebu but bid farewell to thirty-four (34) companies which joined the newly-created LTD � Davao headed by Chief Avia Globasa. She thanked them for their contributions to LTD � Cebu's revenue collection the past several years.

LTD � Cebu collection grew from a mere P9.02 billion in 2010 to P32.78 billion in 2016. It is projected to collect around P43.70 billion this 2017.

Public Information and Education Chief Reymarie T. de la Cruz drew the audience's attention to the change initiatives that the Bureau undertook the past year to improve taxpayer service and to make life easier for taxpayers then quickly made a rundown of the various tax campaign themes of the BIR and the shift of thrust from payment of correct taxes to nation-building and to service excellence. Chief de la Cruz bared the 2017 Public Awareness Campaign of the tax agency in line with the theme Tunay na Pagbabago, Para sa Bayan and the current thrust of the administration to streamline frontline services through an audio-visual presentation.

Large Taxpayers Service (LTS) Assistant Commissioner of Internal Revenue (ACIR) Teresita M. Angeles also paid tribute to the contributions of large taxpayers noting that of the P1.576 trillion taxes collected by the BIR in 2016, 62.44% of the said amount was from the LTS collection.

ACIR Angeles traced the history of the LTS from the time it started with just around 500 taxpayers in its fold and a collection performance of around P200 million. Before the just recent enlistment of new large taxpayers, LTS had around 2,320 taxpayers and a collection near the trillion mark of P963 billion in 2016. This year, the LTS will have around 3,000 plus taxpayers with a collection goal of around P1.2 trillion.

She amplified that with the Ako, Kaisa sa Pagbabago tax campaign theme of the LTS this year, she expects all large taxpayers to accept the challenge and be part of the pressing task of collecting the almost enormous collection goal of the LTS.

Acknowledging that their presence in the kickoff program is an indication of their support, the new lady top honcho of the LTS urged all her taxpayers to remain steadfast and resolute in serving the interest of every Filipino as part of the government's reform efforts. She asked large taxpayers to move in sync with the LTS to work for a better Philippines and a brighter future for everyone.

ACIR for Legal Service Marissa O. Cabreros for her part echoed the sentiments of her fellow speakers from the Bureau. She apologized for the absence of Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay saying that the Commissioner had pressing matters to attend to in Manila. She proceeded to introduce the videotaped message of the Commissioner.

LTD � Cebu awarded to City Savings Bank, Inc. a plaque of recognition as its Top Contributor for 2016. The said top contributor posted the highest combined amount of income and business tax payments of around P1.93 billion during the said taxable year.

Speaking in Filipino, 2016 Top Contributor City Savings Bank, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Catalino S. Abacan expressed his bank's gratitude for the recognition given by LTD � Cebu. He took note that the award bestowed upon City Savings is the fourth for the bank for the last four (4) consecutive years. He then told the audience that true change must not only come from the civil servants but also from the citizenry. President Abacan ended by quoting Saint Teresa of Calcutta's Final Analysis maintaining that one must do good even if all the rest are not doing the same for, in the final analysis, one is answerable only to God and not to the people. He quipped, We must be differentiators and instruments of change.

The Pledge of Commitment and Ceremonial Toast, and LTD � Cebu Audio-Visual Presentation ensued. Emmanuel Lozano of the Aboitiz Group led the Pledge of Support and ceremonial toast.

LTD-Cebu Assistant Chief Fidela C. Bardelas gave the closing remarks. A Tax Update Seminar was held later in the afternoon with LTS Head Revenue Executive Assistant (HREA) for Programs & Compliance Janette R. Cruz, and Law and Legislative Division Chief Atty. Faith M. Farochilen as Resource Speakers.

Gracing the kickoff were LTS HREA (Regular Taxpayers) Olivia O. Lao, and LTD � Davao Chief Avia Globasa. Also present in the said kickoff were Revenue Region (RR) No. 13, Cebu City Regional Director Alfredo V. Misajon, Assistant Regional Director Ayne Mandajoyan-Dizon, Revenue District Officer Emir Abutazil, other LTS and Regional officials, and LTD � Cebu and RR No. 13 - Cebu City personnel.

Proudly-Cebu local talents � University of Cebu Dance Troupe, and singers Raechelle Mae Faelnar (2011 Sinulog Idol Champion), KC Dilao (2015 Sinulog Idol Champion), and Yumae Baring (Sinulog Idol Finalist) - enthused the audience with their crowd-pleasing performances with the UC Dance Troupe providing a glimpse of their cultural performance for the Peongchang 2018 Olympics G-1 Festival in South Korea.

Billy Sienes and Venus Beta-Chi Santiago anchored the entire kickoff program.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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