Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS M a n i l a

EDGARDO B. ADEA,
Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS OF KALOOKAN CITY,
Appellee,

CBAA Case No. L-14-95

Tax Declaration No. A25173 – 00137 Kalookan City

– and –

THE CITY ASSESSOR OF KALOOKAN CITY,
Respondent-Appellee. x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

D E C I S I O N

This case is on appeal before this Board after, having been dismissed by

the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA) of Kalookan City, in an Order,

dated September 22, 1994, “for lack of jurisdiction”. The Order states:

“X x x, the Local Board of Tax Assessment Appeals is only a local forum through which real property owners can file their protest to question the assessment by the local assessors. X x x. Otherwise, if the issues raised by an aggrieved taxpayer is that the assessment is unconstitutional, illegal and improper, it is an attack on the ordinance itself. This kind of attack against an ordinance is within the jurisdiction of the court.”

Petitioner-Appellant, Edgardo B. Adea, alleges:

1. “That their decision did not resolve one of the twin issues raised by Petitioner in his Amended Appeal dated May 18, 1994.”

2. “That ordinances in Kalookan requiring higher realty taxes for 1994 up to 1996 are illegal and unconstitutional.”

3. “That the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government Code, 1991 upon which the Kalookan ordinances x x x are based, are not considered a part of the statutory laws and hence, could not invalidate Presidential Decree No. 921, Section 9 in particular, a realty taxation law.”

4. “That while this case might entail a finding of legal and constitutional infirmities and hence, beyond the jurisdiction of the Honorable Board, Petitioner is not requesting a definitive pronouncement but an ad hoc one x x x.”

5. “That this case is similar to the cases of Mathay vs. the then Sec. Undersec (sic) of Finance, the City Assessor and City Treasurer of Quezon City; Mrs. Puyat-Reyes vs. Acting Finance Secretary and some local officials from Makti; and Javier vs. Undersecretary of Finance and some local officials from Pasig for it relies on the premise that a non-legislative act like the Implementing Rules of LGC, 1991 cannot preempt a legislative act such as P.D. No. 921.”

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 173-181

It appears that Petitioner-Appellant holds title to Block 4, Lot 6 located in

Congressional Employees Homesite in Bagumbong, Kalookan City’ and

covered by Tax Declaration No. A25173-00137:

1. “That he received Notice of hiked realty tax on or about February 14, 1994 from the Assessor’s Office, Kalookan City when he visited this agency for the purpose of paying the tax on his lot in question. Notice consists of communication from Mr. R.B. Javier, OIC, City Assessor’s Office, Kalookan City, and Tax Declaration Form for lot in question.”

2. “That in Tax Declaration Form Petitioner was given notice that his lot was appraised from P17,000 to P72,000 and, as corollary, assessed from approximately P324 to P800 a year.”

3. “That in conformity with the new policy as enforced in Kalookan City, Petitioner paid his realty tax for 1994 in full.”

In the Appellee Local Board, Petitioner-Appellant raised the following

issues:

1. “The increase in appraisal and assessment, not being in conformity with law, is oppressive and confiscatory.”

2. “If the law is still the Real Property Tax Code or the Presidential Decree No. 464, as amended, as interpreted by the Supreme Court on December 16, 1993 in the cases of Mathay vs. Undersecretary of Finance, Assessor of Q.C., and Treasurer of Q.C. (G.R. No. 97618); Javier vs. Undersecretary of Finance, Municipal Assessor and Municipal Treasurer of Makati (G.R. No. 102379); City Assessor of Kalookan City should have met with his peers in Metro Manila District III consisting of Assessors of Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela, with Assessor of Manila acting as Chairman, and thereafter the group could have drawn and approved a new Schedule of Values.”

3. “If the applicable law is the Local Government Code of 1991, the Assessor of OIC of Kalookan City should have taken steps to protect the rights of property owners calling them to a meeting, writing them to their known addresses, to determine the Schedule of Values in their respective communities.”

Petitioner-Appellant then prayed “that the new Schedule of Values be

invalidated and the overpayment collected from herein Petitioner be credited to

his 1995 and part of 1996, aside from present year real property taxes”.

Apparently, the law or laws relied upon by Petitioner-Appellant in the

“twin issues” (supra) are in the alternative, P.D. 921 in relation to P.D. 464, if

they are still the laws prevailing presently, otherwise R.A. 7160, which took

effect on January 1, 1992, if it has effectively repealed P.D.’s 921 and 464.

The pertinent provisions of P.D.’s 921 and 464 respectively, read as

follows:

P.D. 921:

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 173-181

“SEC. 9. Preparation of Schedule of Values for Real Property within the Metropolitan Manila Area. – The Schedule of Values that will serve as basis for the appraisal and assessment for taxation purposes of real properties located within the Metropolitan Manila Area shall be prepared jointly by the City Assessors of the Districts created under Section one hereof, with the City Assessor of Manila acting as Chairman, in accordance with the pertinent provisions of Presidential Decree No. 464, as amended, otherwise known as the Real Property Tax Code, and the Implementing Rules and Regulations thereof issued by the Secretary of Finance.”

P.D. 464:

“SEC. 15. Preparation of Schedule of Values. – Before any general revision of property assessments is made, as provided in this Code, there shall be prepared for the province or city a Schedule of Market Values for the different classes of real property therein situated in such form and detail as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of Finance.”

The relevant clause of R.A. 7160 is as follows:

“SEC. 212. Preparation of Schedule of Fair Market Values. – Before any general revision of property assessment is made pursuant to the provisions of this Title, there shall be prepared a schedule of fair market values by the provincial, city and the municipal assessors of the municipalities within the Metropolitan Manila Area for the different classes of real property situated in their respective local government units for enactment by ordinance of the sanggunian concerned. The schedule of fair market values shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, city or municipality concerned, or in the absence thereof, shall be posted in the provincial capitol, city or municipal hall and in two other conspicuous public places therein.”

Our records show that pursuant to our “Advice to Submit Original

Records of the Case”, dated October 25, 1994, the Register of Deeds of

Kalookan City, Yolanda O. Alfonso, in her capacity as Chairman of Appellee-

Local Board, gave her Answer, dated November 29, 1994, as follows:

“Please be informed that due to the conflagration that gutted partially the City Hall of kalookan City on October 1, 1994, the records pertaining to the appeal of Mr. Edgardo Adea were totally burned except the Order, dated September 22, 1994.

“The petitioner was already informed about the matter, and was advised to send another copy of his petition with all the supporting papers for transmittal to the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.”

As above-advised, Petitioner-Appellant submitted the following:

“This is to inform you of a written request of the Chairlady of Kalookan Board of Assessment Appeals/Register of Deeds x x x, for a copy of my petition with supporting documents. Though acceding to her request for the copy, I nonetheless beg this Honorable Board to schedule a hearing of this matter seasonably since anyhow their intent is just to give you a copy (which I already did upon filing this petition).”

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 173-181

In this Board’s hearing of the case, Appellees admitted that the

questioned Schedule of Values was prepared by the City Assessor of Kalookan

City and approved by the Kalookan City Sangguniang Panglungsod, in

accordance with Sec. 212 of R.A. 7160, supra (TSN pp. 25, 26, 55). Thereafter,

the Property Appraiser of Kalookan City, Mr. Ambrosio Faustino, who

represented Respondent-Appellee, was ordered to submit to this Board a

certification of the Schedule of Market Values prepared by said City Assessor

and approved by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Kalookan City, (Minutes of

Hearing, February 28, 1995). Submitted to this Board, however, pursuant

thereto, was, as described in the accompanying letter signed by Raul B. Javier,

City Assessor, dated March 06, 1995, as follows:

“With reference to CBAA Case No. L-14-94 (City of Kalookan vs. Edgardo B. Adea) we are furnishing herewith the requested excerpt copy from Ordinance No. 0140 S. 1992 (Revenue Code of Kalookan City) regarding real property assessment.”

Definitely, neither this Board nor Appellee Local Board has jurisdiction to

dwell on issues involving questions of law. Such authority properly belongs to

the Courts. We, therefore concur with Appellee Local Board in its Order to

Dismiss this case “for lack of jurisdiction”. To resolve whether or not R.A. 7160

effectively repealed P.D.’s 921 and 464 is beyond us.

In the meantime however, pendente lite of the instant case, before this

Board, the Supreme Court, in ALEJANDRO B. TY and MVR PICTURE TUBE,

INC., Petitioners, vs. THE HON. AURELIO C. TRAMPE, in his capacity as

Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila, et al, Respondents,

G.R. No. 117577, promulgated December 1, 1995, declares:

“X x x. P.D. 921 is still a good law. X x x this Court’s ruling in the Mathay/Javier/Puyat-Reyes cases x x x is still the prevailing and applicable doctrine. X x x the schedule of values prepared solely by the respondent municipal assessor is illegal and void.” (Referred to herein, is the municipal assessor of Pasig.)

We are quite privy to the Mathay/Javier/Puyat-Reyes cases (supra),

when the Supreme Court referred them to us for hearing, determination and

final judgment and finally affirmed our decisions thereto. Hence, we can be

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 173-181

more apt in disclosing that the bottomline issue in the case at bar is essentially

identical to that of the Mathay/Javier/Puyat-Reyes cases, viz: Whether or not

the Schedule of Market Values prepared by Respondent City Assessor of

Kalookan City is valid and enforceable.

WHEREFORE, this case is remanded to the Local Board of Assessment

Appeals of Kalookan City for further proceedings.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, May 7, 1998.

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 173-181