To my disappointment, a Certificate of Registration due on July 10, 2009 was released only today: with a heaping 20 days of delay. I don't know what happened to the "re-formatted" Bureau of Internal Revenue. I was glad last year when my ONETT transactions were done a little ahead of time (about 3 weeks) but dismayed and irritated about how the Certificate of Registration got delayed.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue - Davao was recently "reformatted" as I have mentioned earlier because they already have separated the East and West Davao. The BIR office in Torres caters to East Davao while a new office in Bonifacio St. (2nd floor of the old Golden Bell Building) caters to West Davao. Is there a clear cut distinction between East and West Davao? Well, I'm not so sure about that. In my own opinion, East Davao is from Bankerohan, Downtown, and going North; while West Davao is from Matina going South. I might be wrong with this, so better call BIR for confirmation.

Anyway, the "reformatting" is in consonance withRevenue Memorandum Order 9-2009 which ordered for the reclassification. There are both advantages and disadvantages in this reclassification but of course, the taxpayers hope that since the offices are split up into two disctricts, transactions would be faster. (Well, definitely, it wasn't that fast, I could attest to that. But I can forgive BIR for this since maybe they are still reorganizing in their new office. I just hope that transactions with them in the future are not as eyebrow-raising as I have experienced before).


A Comparison of LGUs

This is a comparison that I have made during my recent transactions concerning the processing of Assessor's Certification in the different local government units in the area of Davao del Norte (I also included Davao). A comparison of fees charged for Assessor's Certification is shown below:

*The Provincial Assessor's Office of Davao del Norte charges P35.00 per person while all the other LGUs in the list charges their respective rates per spouse.

Tagum City charges the highest fees among the the Davao del Norte LGUs. As of July 1, 2009, the Assessor's Certification fee is P160.00 (includes a service fee of P20.00 which has only been recently added), an amount which is significantly higher than the rest of its neighboring LGUs. It makes me think that this city is really run by businessmen. Nevertheless, we can see how Tagum has improved through the years. Verily, the people do not seem to mind paying higher fees for as long as they can see that what they have paid are given back to them by the government in the form of better roads, bridges, and the overall improvement of the place where they live in.

Based on the physical appearance and facilities of the LGUs, I have ranked them as follows:
The Provincial Capitol of Davao del Norte is on my No. 1 spot because I find its facade very beautiful and formal. Second is the Provincial Capitol of Compostela Valley, which I was most amazed of because the the Capitol is also very beautiful, with an informal, cozy ambiance. Third on my list is the City Hall of Panabo, which boasts of their mall-like building and glass interiors which exude a sense of transparency, the structure is also very formal and it has glass elevators. Fourth on my list is the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Davao City, which, is old compared to the three topnotchers, it is on my top four because although the building is old, it's newly repainted, and they have a newly-implemented electronic queuing system aimed at improving and eliminating the long lines in payment of LGU fees. Fifth is the City Hall of Tagum which is also comparably old than the other structures, but its the main downside of its structure is that the offices are not very organized, the same problem shared by the City Hall of Island Garden City of Samal.

In terms of performance of the services, the following is my verdict:

The topnotcher in terms of services is the Island Garden City of Samal, mainly because of their very accommodating Information Officer who is not only satisfied of giving you the directions to where a certain office is located, he goes beyond my expectation when I was personally escorted to the Assessor's Office. The top four LGUs in this category have displayed utmost professionalism in their field of work, and they are very accommodating. With the exception of Davao City, processing of documents is just minutes compared to Davao City which would take you at least two days. Panabo City is in second to the last because I was disappointed when their Information Officer pointed me to a wrong office and worse, he also made me go to the wrong floor. Last on the list is Davao City, my hometown. I do not intend to be mean to my fellow Davaoenos but based on my personal experience, it's harder to transact in my hometown's LGU because of cramped offices and the volume of people and volume of work makes everything at a snail's pace and the employees also seem to be irate at all times.

So, how does your own LGU compare to those that I have mentioned?