Boracay is Dead, What’s the alternative?

Why head to Boracay, when Bataan is just a few hours away from Metro Manila?

Last year we bought a beach property in Morong, Bataan. One of the struggles of property ownership, is paying for property taxes or what we call in the Philippines “Amilyar”.

Since we live in the city, we had to pay the property taxes before the end of March to get the early payment discount that the government offers.

We tried calling the Balanga, Bataan city government on the phone numbers on their website, and we weren’t able to talk to anyone. The phone numbers on their website and even on their Facebook page are not working.  We even tried to search articles on other options to pay on the internet and we couldn’t find one.

Bataan is one of the provinces in the Philippines, so we weren’t expecting a lot when it comes to service and speed of transaction with the local government in this province.

Unlike here in Metro Manila there are a lot of options, to site one example Globe through their financial service named GCash is offering to take care of this problem by providing a solution. Just make sure you have enough credits before making a payment.

Step1: You just need to dial *137#
Step 2: Select 1 for Local Gov’t Unit
Step 3: Select the City (at the moment a few cities have subscribed to this service namely Batangas, Cagayan De Oro, Cauayan, Iloilo, Quezon, and Valenzuela City).
Step 4: Select 1 for Real Property Tax
Step 5: Select 1 for Assessment and Payment
Step 6: Enter the Tax Declaration No. (TDN) e.g. E-097-04159

Personally I haven’t tried this service, I recently discovered this while I was paying for our Property Taxes here in Quezon City. Another easy option is through your local barangay and pay your property taxes. Will definitely try this service next year.

Things to improve (Wishful thinking) :

  1. Bataan and other local cities would avail of this solution that Globe has come up.
  2. Or the government can come up with an overall solution on how to easily pay for property taxes which covers all cities.
  3. GCASH stepping up its game, by including the property tax payment feature in their application.

Back to the story, so we had no choice but to venture from our place to Balanga, Bataan just to pay the Property Taxes. In the Philippines if you don’t pay your property taxes, the local government will put your property into auction to the Public, you’ll get a notice of course. That is if the notice / letter gets to you or accidentally bump into your property on the newspapers being auctioned.

We found out that getting to Bataan is very easy from the city (Metro Manila). You have a various options that you can take:

Option 1: Land Transportation

Taking a Bus:
Travel Time: 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic.
Cost: 200+ Philippine peso (one way trip)
We found this travel guide from travelbook.ph and it’s very handy, this article discussed the various options when taking landtransporation.

Private Car with Driver:
Travel Time: 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic.
Cost: 6,000 Philippine peso (includes round trip travel and includes gas and toll fees).
We found a private car and driver, I met the drive and got his contact information while I was taking my Uber / Grab ride. You can do this as well, everything is negotiable.

Option 2: Sea Transport

Take a ferry boat
Travel Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Cost: 450 Philippine pesos if you book online
You can head to their facebook page for announcements and trip schedules. You can also book your trip through their website.

Once you get to Bataan, other than paying property taxes, what else can you do there?

Here’s a map of Bataan, can you imagine how many beaches are around this place waiting to be discovered?

Bataan Map

The government has launched a tourism campaign for the province of Bataan namely #beholdbataan, you can check there Instagram page here and as well as the city tourism website which can be found here.  I also found a Bataan beach guide from travelbook.ph which was very helpful.

Here’s a picture we took on one of the beautiful beaches in Morong, Bataan.

20180316_102723_HDR

You can also watch the video that I’ve uploaded highlighting the beauty of one of the beaches in Morong Bataan.

What happened to our trip?
We’re we able to pay the property taxes?
Was our property already auctioned and our dreams shattered?

Sadly……. no such drama happened we were able to pay the property taxes fairly easy once we got to the old City Hall of Balanga called Capitol building.

We couldn’t pay in advance the property taxes for the next 5 years, according to the staff, due to the city might raises taxes after the next 3 years.

We were educated by the staff that we don’t need to come to Balanga to pay for the taxes next time. We just need to do the following steps:

1. Send an email to pto@bataan.gov.ph
2. Request for Assessment (how much you need to pay), indicate that you would like to pay through bank deposit.
3. The City Assessor will then reply with how much you need to pay
4. Pay at the bank (Landbank) nearest you
5. Send them the copy of the deposit slip back to pto@bataan.gov.ph
6. Wait for the confirmation and receipt of payment from the Bataan tax office

Phew, the challenges of owning a property was settled. Hopefully this article was helpful to current and future property owners.

We’ll be back to our regular schedule program and we’ll be sharing our travels and reviews on the various beaches and accommodations that Morong, Bataan has to offer.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations on what to do and where to stay at Morong Bataan, feel free to comment or provide suggestions.

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