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Four cities unite to collect overdue tax from MRT
Tina Santos, Inquirer News Service (Updated 11:25pm (Mla time) 10 Aug 2004)

Editor's Note: Published on page A21 of the August 11, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: FOUR local government units that are host to the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) have "joined forces" to compel the firm to settle its more than P4 billion in tax obligations.

The city treasurers and assessors of the cities of Quezon, Makati, Mandaluyong and Pasay met Wednesday on how to collect the real property taxes which MRT operators owed them since 2000.

They said that the MRT's balance liability was reducing the collection efficiency of their respective governments.

MRT reportedly owes Pasay P287,004.893; Makati, P1, 019,568,313.60; Mandaluyong, P1,044,940,335.96; and Quezon City, P2,015,158,700. 09.

The city officials said they were compelled to organize after the MRT, through its lead agency, the Department of Transportation and Communications, reportedly withdrew its commitment to pay MRT taxes.

In a previous meeting, Quezon City treasurer Victor Endriga said MRT had to defer payments because of lack of funds.

Endriga said former Finance Secretary Isidro Camacho, Director Benjamin Geronimo and Paul Daza, representative of MRT, asked "for time to have the tax obligations included in the next budget."

Endriga also noted that a Supreme Court decision had ruled that another light rail line, the LRT, was taxable.

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