Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS M a n i l a

EXCHANGE PROPERTIES RESOURCES CORPORATION (MARBELLA CLUB MANILA, INC.),
Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

CBAA Case No. L-12

Re: Tax Dec’l. 1480 Mun. of Ternate Cavite

THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF THE PROVINCE OF CAVITE,
Appellee,

– and –

THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF CAVITE AND THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR AND TREASURER OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF TERNATE, CAVITE.
Respondents-Appellees. x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

RESOLUTION

Petitioner-Appellant, Exchange Properties Resources Corporation

(Marbella Club (Manila) Inc.,) (EPRC), appeals the decision of the Local Board

of Assessment Appeals (LBAA) of the Province of Cavite before this Board,

alleging, among others, the following:

“On September 14, 1994, EPRC received a copy of the one (1) page two (2) paragraph Decision of the Board which reads as follows:

‘This is an appeal filed by Exchange Properties Resources (Marbella Club Manila, Inc.) from the tax assessments issued by the Municipal Assessor of Ternate, Cavite involving the property situated at Sapang, Ternate, Cavite and covered by Tax Declaration No. 1480.

‘Considering that the appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period within which to file the appeal as provided for in Section 226 of the Local Government Code of 1991, the same is hereby dismissed by this Board.’

‘So Ordered.’

The one (1) page Decision of the Local Board was rendered without the benefit of a hearing as required under Section 229 of the Code and without an explanation as to how the periods for filing were computed by the Board and in total disregard of the petitioner’s rights given under Section 252 of the Code.

Petitioner-Appellant assigns the following errors:

“I. THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF THE PROVINCE OF CAVITE GRAVELY ERRED IN DISMISSING THE APPEAL DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE APPEAL WAS FILED WITHIN THE PERIODS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 252 OF THE CODE.

Reference: Book VII, pp. 145-152

“II. THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT DECISING ON THE PROTEST-PETITION FILED BY EPRC WITHIN TH SIXTY (60) DAY PERIOD REQUIRED UNDER THE CODE THE PROTEST-PETITION (NOT AN APPEAL UNDER SECTION 226 OF THE CODE) BEING THE CORRECT REMEDY FOR EPRC TO TAKE.

“III. THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR AND TREASURER OF TERNATE, CAVITE AND THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF CAVITE GRAVELY ERRED IN COLLECTING REAL PROPERTY TAXES BASED ON EXCESSIVE MARKET VALUES ON THE PROPERTY IN VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE.

“IV. THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR AND TREASURER OF TERNATE, CAVITE AND THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER GRAVELY ERRED IN CLASSIFYING THE PROPERTY OF EPRC AS RESIDENTIAL LAND SUBDIVISIONS NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT THAT SUCH LAND IS NOT ACTUALLY USED AS A SUBDIVISION.

“V. THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR AND TREASURER OF TERNATE, CAVITE AND THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF CAVITE SERIOUSLY ERRED IN EFFECTING A GENERAL REVISION OF THE REAL PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE ORDINANCE PRESCRIBING THE SCHEDULE OF FAIR MARKET VALUE OF PROPERTY AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 212 OF THE CODE.

“VI. ASSUMING SUCH GENERAL REVISION WAS VALIDLY MADE, IT COULD ONY BE IMPLEMENTED IN THE SUCCEEDING YEAR 1995.”

Petitioner-Appellant’s allegation that “the decision of the Board was

rendered without the benefit of a hearing” is a serious pronouncement leveled

against the LBAA of Cavite. Not only is it an infraction of law, particularly

Section 229 (a) of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160) viz, “X x x.

The Board, after hearing, shall render decision based on substantial evidence

or such relevant evidence on record as a reasonable mind might accept as

adequate to support the conclusion”. It is, in fact, a violation of the “due

process” clause of the Constitution. Why was the decision that short, nay,

minute?

The decision is short of the requirements of Rule 36 of the Revised Rules

of Court in the Philippines, Sec. 1 of which provides:

“Rendition of judgments. – All judgments determining the merits of cases shall be in writing personally and directly prepared by the judge, stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, x x x.”

It is short to the more precise definition of judgment as follows: “A

judgment is the conclusion of the law upon the matters contained in the record,

or the application of the law to the pleadings and to the facts, as found by the

court or admitted by the parties, or deemed to exist upon their default in a

Reference: Book VII, pp. 145-152

course of judicial proceedings.” (Gotamco vs. Chan Seng and Razon, 46 Phil.

550).

In Braga vs. Millora 3 Phil. 465, the Supreme Court, applying Section 133

of the Code of Procedure in Civil Actions (substantially reproduced as Sec. 1,

Rule 35 of the rules of 1940, now Sec. 1, Rule 36 of the Revised Rules of Court

in the Philippines), stated:

“X x x, inasmuch as the trial court has failed to make a finding of the ultimate facts upon which he drew his conclusions in this case, and inasmuch as the facts admitted by the pleadings are contrary to the said conclusions, this cause is hereby remanded to the Court of First Instance of the Province of Zambales, and a new trial is hereby ordered.”

This was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court when it defined a “sin

perjuicio” decision as “a mere pronouncement of his judgment without stating

any of the facts in support of his conclusion”, and thereafter declared: “Had the

appeal come to this court it would, undoubtedly, in view of what it has done

heretofore, have returned the record to the lower court, requiring it to comply

with the mandatory provisions of said section 133. (Braga vs. Millora, 3 Phil.

458.)” See Director of Lands vs. Sanz, 45 Phil. 119 & 121.)

Be that as it may, the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160),

provides for the modes of appeal with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals

in Sections 226 and 252 thereof, as follows:

“Sec. 226. Local Board of Assessment Appeals. – Any owner or person having legal interest in the property who is not satisfied with the action of the provincial, city or municipal assessor in the assessment of his property may, within sixty (60) days from the date of receipt of a written notice of assessment, appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals of the province or city by filing a petition under oath in the form prescribed for the purpose x x x.”

“Sec. 252. Payment Under Protest. – (a) No protest shall be entertained unless the taxpayer first pays the tax. There shall be annotated on the tax receipts the words “paid under protest”. The protest in writing must be filed within thirty (30) days from payment of the tax to the provincial, city treasurer or municipal treasurer, in the case of a municipality within Metropolitan Manila Area, who shall decide the protest within sixty (60) days from receipt.

“(b) X x x.

“(c) X x x.

“(d) In the event that the protest is denied or upon the lapse of the sixty (60) day period prescribed in subparagraph (a), the taxpayer may avail of the remedies as provided for in Chapter 3, Title Two, Book II of this Code.”

Reference: Book VII, pp. 145-152

From the record of the case, the following appears:

1. January 20, 1994 – Petitioner-Appellant EPRC received its Real Property Tax Order of Payment (R P T O P) for the year 1994 from the Municipal Assessor and Municipal Treasurer of Ternate, Cavite.

2. March 29, 1994 – EPRC “paid under protest” the first quarterly installment of the Real Property Tax Imposed in the “R P T O P”.

3. April 28, 1994 – EPRC filed a Protest-Petition with the office of the Provincial Treasurer.

4. July 5, 1994 – The Provincial Treasurer referred the Protest-Petition to the Provincial Assessor of the Province of Cavite (without rendering a decision and after the sixty (60) day period has elapsed), for the latter’s recommendation and appropriate action.

5. July 28, 1994 – The Provincial Assessor opined that the “appeal on assessment should have been filed before the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of the Province of Cavite within the reglementary period”.

6. August 25, 1994 – EPRC filed its appeal with the LBAA of the Province of Cavite under Sec. 252 (d) of the Local Government Code of 1991 (R.A. 7160).

7. September 14, 1994 – EPRC received a copy of the decision dismissing the appeal.

8. October 5, 1994 – EPRC filed this appeal before this Board.

Apparently, the Board below dismissed the appeal by strictly adhering to

Sec. 226 of the Code, setting aside Sec. 252 thereof, relied upon by Petitioner-

Appellant. Our reading is that Petitioner-Appellant is well within the ambit of

Sec. 252 of the Code, hence, the appeal as filed with the LBAA of the Province

of Cavite was yet within the period for perfecting the appeal.

Accordingly, it behooves upon the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of

the Province of Cavite, to hear this case and resolve the rest of the issues

presented therein.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision appealed from is

hereby set aside and the case remanded to the Local Board of Assessment

Appeals of the Province of Cavite for hearing and such other further

proceedings as are deemed appropriate and necessary.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, November 22, 1995.

Reference: Book VII, pp. 145-152

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed) ELEANOR A. SANTOS
Member

Reference: Book VII, pp. 145-152