They say the two certainties in life are death and taxes. Some may even say that tax and the process of making payment for it can be more torturous than death. To be fair, a lot of improvements to government services have occurred in the last 10 years. We no longer have to spend one whole day to get one simple task done at a government office. Certainly, in a lot of cases, the need to pay a third party to get something done in a timely manner is eliminated.
For those of us living or working in The Fort, we are fortunate that several essential government offices are located in modern office buildings easily accessible by public transport. But a couple of government offices are located in either crowded area or out-of-the-way place.
For the uninitiated, what are the essential public services that most of us mortals have to deal with in order to live without fear at night? For each category of individuals shown below, we provide shortcuts to the address and description of each service involved.
BUSINESS OWNERS / EMPLOYERS
For business operators, every month there is a myriad of filings that you need to make to Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), reporting on revenue, purchase and compensation taxes withheld for BIR, VAT paid, etc. In addition, every year, businesses have to file annual returns to BIR. Missing any one for any period of time, no matter how short, can give rise to hefty fines. There are also filings required even if you only have one employee, to Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG). For all these filings, the associated payments have to be made in designated banks, which means another line to queue up.
Business owners also need to pay for mayor's permit every quarter at the Taguig City Hall or its satellite offices. This is actually a tax to the local government, but this tax has so many components that most business owner has to pay someone else to do the annual renewal, else it will cost the business owner more than one day of precious time to complete all the steps.
You need to file tax returns at BIR if you have multiple sources of income. You need to visit SSS office to check your SSS balance, or apply for loans. If you want to avail of your PhilHealth medical benefits, you need to go to their office. Same with applying for Pag-IBIG housing loans.
In SM Aura Office Tower (next to SM Aura Premier Mall), you can find the offices of SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG on the 7th floor. Recently, the mall operator, SM Prime Holdings, opened a business service center on the same floor as SSS, so that we can make payment to these government offices while conducting business with them on the same floor.
If you own a property in Fort Bonifacio, every year you will need to pay real estate tax to the Taguig City. Taguig City Satellite Office is also operating in the same building.
For private car drivers, you need to renew your driver's license every three years.
shortcut to: Land Transportation Office
If you live in Fort Bonifacio and someone sends you a package to your address in The Fort, even if it is by courier, instead of receiving the package, you may receive a notification from the post office advising you to go there to pick up the package. Do not go there before you make a phone call to find out if the Customs Officer will be there
If you are a local resident (as opposed to a foreigner), you will need to pay for a Community Tax Certificate every year. Commonly known as Cedula, the CTC is required for transacting with public bodies, such as in receiving public funds. It is to be paid to the Taguig city treasurer located within Taguig City hall or its satellite offices.
Fort Bonifacio is home to many foreigners staying in the Philippines for work. Many foreigners also stay in the Fort for visiting friends or relatives. If you are one of them, you may be glad to know that you no longer have to travel all the way to Manila or Pasay to have your visitor's visa extended. The Immigration Department has opened a new office at SM Aura Tower, providing a range of services to visitors.
shortcut to: Immigration Department
SSS is one of the government service centers at the SM Aura Office Tower.
Pag-IBIG is one of the government service centers at the SM Aura Office Tower.
PhilHealth is one of the government service centers at the SM Aura Office Tower.
Post offices in and around The Fort.
The Taguig City Satellite Office has been relocated from Market! Market! to the SM Aura Office Tower.
The nearest LTO Office is at MRT Ayala Station.
Meralco has a branch office at Market! Market! mall.
BIR RDO in The Fort handles Taguig and Pateros.
Bureau of Immigration Satellite Office is one of the government service centers at the SM Aura Office Tower.