ZAMBOANGA CITY’S mayor has ordered a study on implementing tax holidays on idle lands and auxiliary activities to help residents and businesses recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.   

“Let our people recover first from the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic before we collect the right taxes from them,” Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said in a local radio interview.   

The proposal, which will be assessed by the local government’s department heads, will provide a three-year tax holiday on idle lands, and another two years for the auxiliary service groups or companies.  

Ms. Salazar said she will also be asking support from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) or city council for the plan, which will require the passage of a local ordinance.   

“I hope the SP will also support this,” she said.  

The mayor will also propose to the council to pass legislation that will expand the coverage of free RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 after the city-owned laboratory becomes operational.   

The city’s budget and health offices will draft a policy for its implementation.   

“It may not be necessarily a free-for-all grant but at least with a wider coverage than the present free RT-PCR test given to those with COVID-19 symptoms, suspected and positive cases only,” she said. — MSJ 

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