DAVAO: LIFE IS HERE! photo by TOMAS AVANCENA
BY ROLDAN GORGONIO
Life is here!
“Davao: Life is here” as the city’s new official slogan, tells it all…you want action, you come over and be part of it.
In the aspect of tourism, the logo epitomizes what we have to offer to tourists. As a tool for investment generation, the slogan is simply tantalizing—making Davao like heaven on earth for investors.
Taking the lead in promotion, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has a new catchphrase with easy recall that Dabawenyos can truly call their own.
“Life is here” is a great come-on, strikes at the very core of life— and governance—in the city.
Governance? Yes, because the the logo is not only about tourism.
It’s a come-on for business and investment. You are an investor looking for a location? Your place is Davao City, where there is life—and good governance, security, friendly people, and yes, there is the inevitable for business—taxes—but in its lowest strata. Taxes that go to the right direction to provide for the needs of people and make the business atmosphere more lively.
Dabawenyos—they include new investors —are good taxpayers.
Mid-year tax collection is P500 million more compared to the same period last year, January to June.
No wonder that Inday Sara is not crying over the P360 million cut in the city’s share from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) next year.
It gave us a sigh of relief when Inday Sara divulged during her recent State of the City Address an 18.53% increase in local tax collection based on mid-year figures. The city annual income hovered at P4 billion this year, and also in the same level next year. IRA pumps in about 60 percent of total revenues, with about 40 percent from local taxes.
The IRA cut can be compensated by the current flood of investments and the corresponding taxes that go with it to sustain the local economy and ensure smooth government operation next year.
Retrenchment is the first option of other local government units in wake of the IRA cut to resolve the impending budgetary crisis.
But not in Davao City, with Inday Sara happily announcing during her SOCA that no city government personnel would be displaced due to the IRA cut. We have yet to hear, though, city personnel thanking Inday Sara for this. Do we hear early Xmas carols for Inday Sara at the steps of City Hall soon?
With the impending plight of city hall workers, the mayor has assured to spare them from the crisis and is considering cuts in debt servicing instead of mass termination of personnel. LGUs all over the country are doomed by the IRA cut, coming worse for cities or municipalities with inefficient tax system and consider IRA as their lifeblood.
For its efficiency that provided a lifesaver to the city government in an impending economic crisis, the City Treasurers’ Office and head Rodrigo Riola should be commended for excellent tax collection.
For giving more life to the city with his concept: Davao: Life is here, Rey “Bai” G. Mangansay, should also given a medal for his genius.
Dabawenyos are performers in their respective fields, but at this time, Riola and Mangansay—pwera selos— are the standouts who provide a real meaning to the city’s brand new slogan: Davao: Life is here!