Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

UNITED PARACALE MINING COMPANY, Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

CBAA Case No. L-17-95 THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT
APPEALS OF CAMARINES NORTE, Appellee,

– and –

THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF PARACALE CAMARINES NORTE,
Respondent-Appellee,

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

R E S O L U T I O N

On October 10, 1995, an appeal was filed before this Board by United

Paracale Mining Co., Petitioner-Appellant, against the dismissal of its appeal by

the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte, for Prescription of

Action. Said the Camarines Norte Local Board:

“It is the observation and finding of this Board that the petitioner fails to comply with the procedural requirement as laid down by the law. There is no doubt that the Notice Of Assessment for the year 1994 were sent to the taxpayer as certified by the mailing office and there is no showing that said Notices as mailed were returned undelivered. Under this situation there exist (sic) a presumption that the taxpayer was notified thereof in view of the presumption of regularity of the transaction by the Postal Office. It is improbable that the petitioner did not received (sic) said Notice of Assessments.

“It is the observation and conclusion of this Board that after evaluation and perusal of the records, it is our finding that the statutory requirement has not been substantially complied with, hence, the Board has no alternative but to dismiss the instant appeal. The issue of jurisdictional requirement which is mandatory has been thoroughly discussed and deliberated upon by the members of this Board to determine as to whether or not the appeal was pursued on time which must be established in order for us to lawfully decide on the position.

“In view of the prescription of action, it is logical to dismiss the instant petition without any further discussion on the matter advising the petitioner to take proper remedial measure available for them as provided for by law.”

Errors have been assigned in the case as herein cited, to wit:

“I. The Provincial Board erred in dismissing the appeal on the ground that the same was filed out of time.

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 215-219

“II. The Provincial Board erred in not holding that the notice of assessment on petitioner-appellant’s mining claims is without legal basis and is therefore invalid and without legal effect.

“III.Assuming but not conceding that the notice of assessment is valid, the Provincial Board erred in not holding that the increase in assessment is unjust, excessive and confiscatory.”

In the present case, prescription of action, as found by the LBAA of

Camarines Norte, started to run “in the later (sic) part of January 1994, then the

petitioner has only up to the last day of March 1994 to file its appeal”.

According to Appellee, Local Board, “there is no doubt that the Notices of

Assessment for the year 1994 were sent to the taxpayer as certified by the

mailing office and there is no showing that said Notices as mailed were

returned undelivered”; yet it admits that “there exist a presumption that the

taxpayer was notified thereof in view of the presumption of regularity of the

transaction by the Postal Office.” (Underscoring supplied.) Indeed Appellee,

Local Board has not determined by definitive evidence the date of receipt of

said Notice of Assessment, but relied on the certification of the Acting

Postmaster of Paracale, supra, as the proof that the Notice of Assessment “was

delivered to its respective addressee sometime in December 1993”. Hence

delivery of said appeal was made thereabout. The certification, however, of the

Acting Postmaster of Paracale is mere suppositions and presumptions. It could

not prove anything.

Appellee, Local Board made substantial reference on the

“inconsistencies of the Petitioners statement that they came to be aware of the

tax increase only on July 6, 1994. The payment made by the Petitioner on June

30, 1994 was a clear indication that the Petitioner was fully aware of the tax and

accordingly failed to file the assessment appeal within the reglementary period

of prescribed by law.”

Says the Supreme Court in Javier vs. Court of Appeals, 183 SCRA 178:

Litigations should, as much as possible, be decided on their merits and not on technicalities. X x x. Rules of procedure are intended to promote, not to defeat, substantial justice and, therefore, they should not be applied in a very rigid technical sense.”

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 215-219

According to the Petitioner-Appellant: “The date of receipt of the ‘List of

Real Properties’ was inadvertently stated in the memorandum submitted by

petitioner-appellant to the Provincial Board as July 6, 1994 which was actually

the date of receipt of the Notice of Assessment from the Municipal Assessor of

Jose Panganiban involving petitioner’s real properties in Jose Panganiban,

Camarines Norte”. It appears that Petitioner-Appellant could have been made

aware of it on or just before it paid the tax thereon, on June 30, 1994. From

June 30, 1994 or thereabout, to August 25, 1994, there could not be more than

sixty (60) days between them, hence the Appeal before the LBAA of Camarines

Norte could not have prescribed.

Appellee Local Board dismissed the present case for prescription of

Action without resolving the issues appealed from, on the merits. Contrary

thereto, however, this Board finds that no prescriptive period on the appeal

have been violated. It is for the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of

Camarines Norte therefore, to resolve the herein case on the merits.

WHEREFORE, the Resolution appealed from in CBAA Case No. L-17-95

(LBAA Case No. 95-02), United Paracale Mining Co., Petitioner-Appellant vs.

The Provincial Board of Assessment Appeals of Camarines Norte, Appellee

and The Municipal Assessor of Paracale, Camarines Norte, Respondent-

Appellee, is hereby set aside and remanded to the Local Board of Assessment

Appeals of the Province of Camarines Norte for further proceedings on the

merits.

Furthermore, this Board directs that the Provincial Assessor of

Camarines Norte be included as Respondent in this case because without

his/her approval, assessments made by Municipal Assessors are ineffective

save those in the Municipalities within Metropolitan Manila area as provided in

Section 200 of Title Two, Book II of the Local Government Code of 1991.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, December 14, 1998.

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 215-219

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

Reference: Book VIII, pp. 215-219