The Quezon City government recorded its biggest tax collection in history despite the Covid-19 pandemic that pulled down business enterprises nationwide.
Mayor Joy Belmonte reported on Monday during her State of the City Address that the city collected P22 billion in taxes to add to the P24.6 billion savings prior to the pandemic.
“Despite the effect of Covid-19 in QC’s economy, we recorded the highest collection of P22 billion last year. This is the highest collection in the country and in the history of our city,” Belmonte said in Filipino.
The city also retained its good financial standing and remained debt-free.
“Because of this, QC has the biggest amount of assets such as donated lands, buildings, and roads, that are now valued at P451 billion,” she said in Filipino.
Belmonte also proudly bared that QC earned an “unqualified opinion” from the Commission on Audit (COA) for 2020 – another first for the city.
The unqualified opinion is the highest audit opinion that COA can render to a government agency, including a local government unit.
It means the city has managed its funds in a prudent manner and through careful spending and proper safeguarding of funds.
Belmonte said that even before the pandemic, the city government was able to establish strict guidelines, which officials ensured are implemented without exemptions.
The establishment of the Internal Audit Service through an Executive Order ensured that every peso is spent wisely, practicing transparency, accountability and integrity, Belmonte said.
The mayor also boasted of the successful digitalization of most QC services that broadened the reach of the local government, reaching even remote areas.
The surge of Covid-19 cases, inevitable for the biggest city in the country, was dealt with and cases are a decline – only 3,645 active infections from as high as at least 10,000 during the past two months.
The vaccination program has also administered complete doses to more than 1.6 million or 98 percent of the 1.7 million target while minors with comorbidities aged 12 to 17 are already included.
To further contain the spread of the virus, the city has put up 23 community testing sites while its molecular laboratory located in Teachers Village East can now process up to 1,500 tests daily.
As the pandemic has yet to be fully contained, the Pangkabuhayang QC Program continues to aid the business sector, with almost 2,000 startup enterprises already assisted.
Through the Grow QC Food Security Program, the city government helped build 300 urban farms, 70 aquaculture sites, and assisted 2,238 urban farmers in a total farm area of 340,000 square meters.
Belmonte attributed all the achievements to the trust of their constituents and the modern-day heroes that silently help amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The story of QC is the story of the struggles of its constituents. They assumed the responsibility to save and uplift the community. The new story of QC is the story of heroism, story of sacrifices, and helping one another,” Belmonte said in Filipino.