The share in taxes from quarrying of Santo Tomas muncipality in three years under Mayor Ernesto Evangelista was nearly double compared to collections for the same number of years of the previous administration.
This accomplishment by the administration of Evangelista, who is seeking reelection in the 2022 elections, was revealed in documents presented on November 24, Wednesday, at the hearing by a Sangguniang Bayan (SB) committee that looked into alleged corruption in the town’s quarry operations.
The hearing by the Committe on Environment and Natural Resources chaired by Councilor Julie Mantequilla was based on a resolution in the November 22 session of the SB that urged an investigation into taxes from quarrying operations.
Documents from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office presented at the hearing by municipal treasurer Rosario Berenguel showed that collection from quarrying taxes from 2019 to 2021 (up to October) were as follows: 2019 – P278,000; 2020 – P425, 000; and 2021 – 467,000 or a total of P1,170,000.
Comparatively, collection from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 2016 – P72,000; 2017 – P203,000; and 2018 – P384,000 or a total of P659,000 and about half the tax collected during the Evangelista administration that amounted to P1,170,000.
Ironically, the probe on the quarry tax was instigated by a privilege speech accusing corruption by Councilor Cromwell Cocamas, who is running as vice mayor under a neophyte politiician challenging the reelection of Mayor Evangelista.
Appearing at the environment committee hearing, Municipal Administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista Lapina said the increase in tax collection was due to the Special Monitoring Team on quarrying operations created by Mayor Evangelista to stop rampant corruption carried over from the previous administration.