Manila Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada on Thursday handed over P200 million to Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar “Billy” Dulay to finally settle the city government’s 2007 tax liabilities left unpaid by former Mayors Lito Atienza and Alfredo Lim.
With the payment, Mayor Estrada said the City of Manila is now totally debt-free.
When he assumed office as mayor in 2013, Estrada inherited a bankrupt administration that had unpaid debt of over P5 billion, with over P630 million in overdue bills to Meralco.
In 2015, Mayor Estrada declared the city debt-free after instituting various fiscal reforms that provided it with sufficient revenues to undertake infrastructure projects that would renew the city’s position as a prime financial, business and tourism hub.
Mayor Estrada has previously stated that his administration was committed to implementing a massive urban renewal program that would help the city reclaim its historical title as the Pearl of the Orient.