Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

LORENZO G. TIMBOL,

Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

THE LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT

APPEALS OF MARIKINA, CBAA Case No. L-15-95 Appellee,

– and –

MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF MARIKINA,
Respondent-Appellee,

x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

D E C I S I O N

Petitioner-Appellant, Atty. Lorenzo G. Timbol filed this Appeal before this

Board against the Resolution of Appellee, Local Board of Assessment Appeals

of Marikina, dismissing his Appeal therewith, “for lack of merit”. The Resolution

considered the following:

“The facts on record show that protestant filed a protest on April 29, 1994 with the Municipal Assessor, Santiago SP. Ramos, by alleging:

“1. That the assessment made by the Assessor’s Office of Marikina was null and void citing the decision of the Supreme Court in Mathay, Jr. vs. Macalincag, et al., nullifying the partial revaluation of the assessments in Quezon City, Pasig and Makati;

“2. That there was no due publication and/or posting duly made;

“3. That there was no public hearing held as provided by law;

“4. That the assessments made by the Assessor’s Office are unjust, excessive, oppressive and confiscatory; and

“5. That the Assessor’s Office of Marikina did not consider the element of value and did not exercise prudence of discretion in reaching conclusion in its assessment.”

The Resolution held the following:

“With regards the allegation of the protestant that the assessment made by the Assessor’s Office was null and void, this Office bet (sic) to disagree. The rulings made by the Supreme Court in Mathay, Jr. vs. Macalincag, et al., is inapplicable to the case at bar due to the divergence of issues. The Supreme Court in this case based its decision on the provision of Sec. 15, PD 464 in relation to the provision of Sec. 9, PD 921 that the schedule of Fair Market Values (FMV) should be prepared jointly by the four (4) City Assessors of the Districts in Metro Manila, with the City Assessor of Manila, acting as Chairman. Non-compliance then with this

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 182-188

provision render the schedule of FMV and the resultant revision of the assessments null and void. It is important to note that Sec. 9, PD 921, merely implemented and complemented Sec. 15 of PD 464 in the preparation of the schedule of market values of real properties. However, under Sec. 212, Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991,’(B)efore 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 different classes of real property situated in their respective local government units for enactment by ordinance of the Sanggunian concerned’. (emphasis supplied). In view of the aforecited provision, it is now crystal clear that the same has amended the provision as embodied in PD 464. Furthermore, Section 219 of RA 7160 provides that ‘(T)he provincial, city or municipal assessor shall undertake a general revision of real property assessments within two (2) years after the effectivity of this Code and every three (3) years thereafter’. (underscoring supplied).”

“To further support protestant’s allegation, he submitted copies of documents issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) (sic) on the Marikina Fault System, to prove that his real properties are situated approximately less than one (1) kilometer away from the said fault. This office finds it absurd to give credence on this aspect. The FMV of any real property doesn’t hinge on a fortuitous event, such as this fault line, which may or may not happen at all. Surely, the same cannot be considered as a factor in the assessment of real properties located in the so-called ‘endangered area.’ Further, inspite of the full-blown news generated by the issuance of the Marikina Fault System, still the market value of lots located in Loyola Grand Villas, range from P3,000 to P5,000 which is way above that the assessor’s market value which is only P1,300 per square meter.”

“With respect the allegation that there was no due publication and/or posting made, we are of the opinion that the same has no legal basis. The duly prepared and approved schedules of market values had been published in the local newspaper, TINIG NG NAYON, per Ordinance No. 4, Series of 1993 on January 31-February 6, 1993 and was again published on December 31, 1993 per Ordinance No. 135, Series of 1993, the latter being a mere reiteration of Ordinance No. 4 which was earlier issued and approved. These publications made are in consonance with Sec. 212, RA 7160 which provides ‘(T)he 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 posed (sic) in the provincial capitol, city or municipal hall and in two (2) other conspicuous places therein.’ The schedules of FMV had likewise been posted in the barangay halls and at the main bulletin board of the Marikina Townhall (See Annex B & C).”

“Contrary to the claim of the protestant, the assessment made is reasonable because the same is based on the conservative estimate of market values, per Municipal (sic) of Marikina Schedule of Values – 1992, a compilation of market value tabulation per street as well as the statement of Sales per Deed of Sales and BIR Zonal values which is even higher than the Assessor’s market value. The only evidence adduced by the protestant is the 1981-1982 real property assessment made on his property without drawing the line between a fair and reasonable market value.”

“The allegation of the herein protestant that the Assessor’s Office of Marikina did not consider the element of value and did not exercise prudence of discretion in reaching conclusion in its assessment is without any basis, and a mere generalization unsupported by evidence x x x.”

“The General Revision of all Tax declaration of Real Properties started in 1992 and finished on (sic) December 1993. Section 5, Ordinance No. 4 shall be used for the 1992-1993 general revision of real property assessment of land the effectivity of which is 1994. Section 6 of both ordinances also stats (sic) ‘(T)he schedule for fair market values for buildings and other improvements shall be used for the 1992-1993 general

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 182-188

revision of real property assessment whose effectivity is 1994. Further, Section 9 of the same ordinance states ‘(T)his ordinance shall take effect upon approval. Hence, the law is clear with regards the effectivity of such assessment. Sec. 221, RA 7160, – All assessments or reassessments made after the first day of January of any year shall take effect on the first day of January of succeeding year.”

Petitioner-Appellant assigns the following errors:

“The Local Board erred:

“I

IN RULING THAT SEC. 9 OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 921 IS INAPPLICABLE TO THE CASE AT BAR.

“II

IN RULING THAT THE ASSESSMENTS IN QUESTION CAN TAKE EFFECT IN THE YEAR 1994.

“III

IN RULING THAT THE ASSESSMENTS IN QUESTION ARE NOT UNJUST, EXCESSIVE, OPPRESIVE AND CONFISCATORY.

“IV

IN DISREGARDING THE FACT THAT THE PROPERTIES IN QUESTION ARE LOCATED VERY NEAR THE MARIKINA FAULTLINE.”

The herein case is no different from the cases of “Mathay, Jr. vs.

Macalincag, et al.”, G.R. No. 97618, “Javier vs. Macalincag, et al.”, G.R. No.

97760, and “Puyat-Reyes vs. Secretary of Finance, et al.”, G.R. No. 102319

(supra), wherein the one and only issue, which encompassed all other issues

was the “alleged violation of law in the preparation of the Schedules of Market

Values, made solely by the respective Assessors of Quezon City, Pasig and

Makati. Later, in the case of Edgardo B. Adea vs. Board of Assessment

Appeals of Kalookan City (CBAA Case No. L-14-95), which took place after the

passage of the Local Government Code of 1991, this Board decided the same

following the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Ty vs. Trampe” (infra).

The pertinent provisions of PD 464 and 921 respectively, reads:

Par. 1, Sec. 15, PD 464:

“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.”

Sec. 9, PD 921:

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 182-188

“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 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.”

Following is the provision of Par. 2, Sec. 1.02 of Assessment Regulations

No. 7-77 of the Department of Finance:

“Schedule of Market Values for real property situated within the Metropolitan Manila Area shall be prepared jointly by the City Assessors of the Districts created under Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 921, with the City Assessor of Manila, acting as Chairman.”

This Board’s Decisions to declare null and void said Schedules of Market Values in the cases of “Mathay vs. Macalincag, et al.”, “Javier vs. Macalincag, et al.”, and “Puyat-Reyes vs. The Sec. of Finance, et al.” (supra), were upheld by the Supreme Court as follows:

“The Court has reviewed the records of all these three (3) cases and finds that the Central Board of Assessment Appeals has proceeded correctly as regards their hearing and determination. It also agrees with the Board’s conclusion that the Schedules of Market Values for real property located in Quezon City, the Municipality of Pasig and the Municipality of Makati, failed to comply with the explicit requirements of Presidential Decree No. 921 in relation to the corresponding Administrative Regulations promulgated by the Department of Finance (No. 7-77) on July 25, 1977, and are on that account illegal and void.”

In his “ERROR NO. I”, Petitioner-Appellant argues:

“The ‘schedule of fair market values’ prepared by the Municipal Assessor of Marikina, upon which the revised assessments of subject properties were based, is null and void and unenforceable because the same was not prepared jointly by the Assessors of the four (4) Assessment Districts created under Presidential Decree No. 921 for Metropolitan Manila, with the City Assessor of Manila acting as Chairman, as required by Sec. 9 of the aforesaid presidential decree. Contrary to the ruling of the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Marikina, P.D. 921 is still in force since the same was not repealed by the Local Government Code x x x. In fact, the Supreme Court applied Sec. 9 of P.D. No. 921 in deciding the cases of ‘Mathay, Jr. vs. Macalincag, et al.’, G.R. No. 97618, ‘Javier vs. Macalincag, et al. ‘G.R. No. 97760, and ‘Puyat (sic) v. Secretary of Finance, et al.’, G.R. No. 102319, x x x, wherein the Supreme Court declared null and void and unenforceable the schedules of market values for real properties in Quezon City, Pasig and Makati for the reason that the same were not prepared jointly by the Assessors of the four (4) Assessment Districts for Metropolitan Manila, with the City Assessor of Manila, acting as Chairman, as required by the aforementioned legal provision. In this connection, it has been held that an assessment is illegal and void when the assessor has no power to act at all (Victorias Milling Co. vs. Court of Tax Appeals, 22 SCRA 1008), as in this case.”

Now it can be gleaned that the instant case hinges on whether the

preparation of the Schedule of Market Values in the Metropolitan Manila Area is

governed by the provisions of PD’s 464/921, as alleged by Petitioner-Appellant,

in which case, such schedule, prepared merely by the Municipal Assessor of

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 182-188

Marikina (now City), is null and void, or the Local Government Code of 1991

(RA 7160), as held by Appellee, Local Board to have repealed said PD’s

464/921, hence its dismissal of the herein case.

Be that as it may, the Supreme Court in the case of 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,

declared:

“X x x, PD 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.”

The highest tribunal has spoken, the case at bar is moot:

“The people have entrusted to the Supreme Court the power to be the final arbiter of all questions of law and the rule of law demands that as disputes ought to reach an end in the interest of societal peace, submission should follow the Court’s final fiat.” (Guieb vs. Civil Service Commission, 229 SCRA 779).

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the herein Resolution of the Local

Board of Assessment Appeals of the Municipality (now City) of Marikina,

dismissing the Appeal of Petitioner-Appellant Lorenzo G. Timbol, is hereby set

aside, the Schedule of Market Values prepared solely by the Municipal (now

City) Assessor of Marikina, is hereby held illegal and null and void. Respondent,

Municipal (City) Assessor of Marikina (City) is hereby ordered to act

accordingly.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, December 23, 1998.

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 182-188