Emmanuel P. Solis
LEGAZPI CITY-The Municipality of Castilla Sorsogon gave a financial assistance to the City Government of Legazpi as part of the support to the affected people residing in the foot of Mt. Mayon who are now staying in the designated evacuation centers. Mayor Joan Aquende of Castilla together with the members of the Municipal Council handed over a cheque amounting Php100,000 to Mayor Noel E. Rosal just on Monday at the office of the city chief executive in Legazpi.

Rosal said the amount would be used for the daily expenses and other needs of the 3,662 families or equivalent to 13,505 individuals who evacuated due to the series of volcanic eruption that spewed ash falls affecting the people in the northern areas of this city. The city chief executive revealed the city administration is now spending more than Php1 million pesos daily expenses of the evacuees. Legazpi and Castilla are sister localities through a resolution adopted by the city council recognizing the importance of fostering a strong partnership and understanding between the two places.

Rosal said he will encourage other investors to put up businesses in Castilla to improve the economic activities in the place and give employment to the people.  He said he will share the knowledge of the city administration to the Municipality of Castilla regarding the operation of ETRACS and GIS to improve its tax collection.  Legazpi City is using an Enhanced Tax Revenue Assessment and Collection System (ETRACS) which is an automated assessment of taxes and other business fees. The city administration is also using a Geographic Information System (GIS) that produces thematic layers for planning, identification of delinquent taxpayers and business operation. The ETRACS and the GIS were assisted by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusSAID) under the Land Administration and Management Project.