Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

WORD OF LIFE, PHILIPPINES, INC., Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus – CBAA CASE NO. M-04

LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, PROVINCE OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL,
Appellee,

– and –

FELY Y. OBSIOMA, Municipal Assessor of Opol, Misamis Oriental, and CORAZON V. BELTRAN, Provincial Assessor of Misamis Oriential,
Respondents-Appellees. x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

D E C I S I O N

Submitted to this Board is a COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO

TERMINATE ACTION, dated March 4, 1994, filed by both parties which is

hereby quoted as follows:

“COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE ACTION”

PARTIES in the above-entitled case, assisted by their respective counsels and unto this Honorable Central Board of Assessment Appeals most respectfully submit the following COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE ACTION, to wit:

1. That petitioner-appellant admits realty tax liability to the Province of Misamis Oriental and to the Municipality of Opol, in the amount of TWENTY THREE THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED TWENTY THREE AND 24/100 CENTAVOS (P23,123.24) shown in the Statement of Accounts hereto attached as ANNEX “A” and forming an integral part of this compromise agreement;

2. That petitioner-appellant hereby agrees binds itself to pay unto the Province of Misamis Oriental and Municipality of Opol, the above-stated amount upon approval of this compromise agreement by Honorable Central Board of Assessment Appeals;

3. That the respondents-appellees hereby agree and bind themselves to undertake a revision of property assessment of all real property of petitioner-appellant under the assessment levels provided for in Sec. 218 of Republic Act No. 7160, after the above-mentioned tax liability has been paid by petitioner-appellant to the Province of Misamis Oriental and the Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental.

WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed before this Honorable Central Board of Assessment Appeals that the foregoing COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE ACTION be approved and that judgment be rendered forthwith in accordance with same with COST DE OFFICIO.

Reference: Book VII, pp. 272-279

Cagayan de Oro City, March 4, 1994.

WORD OF LIFE PHILIPPINES, INC. Petitioner-Appellant

By”

(Sgd.) Rev. Keith Elrahim

PROVINCIAL ASSESSOR OF MISAMIS ORIENTIAL

By:

(Sgd.) NORBERTO A. COSADIO Provincial Assessor and

Assisted by:

(Sgd.) T.J. SUMAWANG Counsel for Petitioner-Appellant

MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR OF OPOL, MISAMIS ORIENTAL

By:

(Sgd.) FELY Y. OBSIOMA Municipal Assessor

Assisted by:

(Sgd.) JAIME A. CHAVES Counsel for Respondents-Appellants”

Facts of the case show that on March 20, 1993, Petitioner-Appellant

Word of Life, Philippines, Inc., a religious corporation, filed its protest-appeal on

the assessment of a portion of its real property situated at Barra, Opol, Misamis

Oriental. Said portion consisting of 20,000 square meters, more or less, was

assessed by Respondent-Appellee Assessor of the Province of Misamis

Oriental as agricultural land under Tax Declaration No. 910029, and therefore

subject to realty tax, whereas an area with 3,007 square meters was

considered used as Bible Camp Site and exempt from realty taxes. Petitioner-

Appellant asserts that the segregation of the said portion of 20,000 square

meters, more or less, as agricultural is illegal because said portion forms part of

the entire area of its land which is directly, actually and exclusively used for

religious purposes.

Records also show that Appellee Local Board of Assessment Appeals of

Misamis Oriental, in its Order, dated April 15, 1993, dismissed the appeal of

Petitioner-Appellant on technical ground, declaring that the appeal was filed

beyond the 60-day period from receipt of the notice of assessment, within which

to file the said appeal before the Appellee Local Board as provided for under

the Local Government Code.

Petitioner-Appellant elevated its Appeal to this Board.

Reference: Book VII, pp. 272-279

Before this Board Petitioner-Appellant assailed both the assessments of

Respondents-Appellees as well as the dismissal of its appeal by the Appellee

Local Board. In a nutshell, the controversy between the parties revolves around

the issue of whether or not a portion of Petitioner-Appellant’s property with an

area of 20,000 sq.m. is taxable, and the issue on prescription of appeal.

On September 30, 1993, this Board’s Chairman and Member, together

with the parties and their respective counsels, conducted an ocular inspection

of the subject property. The findings of this Board are hereby quoted as follows:

“Special Features of the Property in Question

1. A well manicured lawn used as playground for picnic and summer camp. Petitioner-Appellant collects P5 per head as entrance for its use, subject to rules and regulations of the institution.

2. Actually contiguous to the area declared exempt by the Respondent-Appellee Municipal Assessor of Opol, Misamis Oriental.

3. It is actually, exclusively and directly used by Word of Life which is a religious institution, the income from entrance fees is insufficient to maintain the area.

4. The area is planted to some coconut trees.”

This Board, during the ocular inspection, found no specific metes and

bounds which will point to which particular property is being used or is not being

used actually, directly and exclusively for religious purposes by Petitioner-

Appellant. In fact, the well-manicured lawn within the controverted property

appears to be a very inspiring place for any religious person to meditate or

express his religious fervor.

In the re-scheduled hearing on March 3, 1994, the Petitioner-Appellant,

through Ms. Tubungbanua, manifested its desire to enter into a compromise

agreement to pay back taxes on the portion assessed as taxable. Likewise,

Respondent-Appellee Provincial Assessor of Misamis Oriental, through

counsel, manifested that after payment of those delinquent taxes, Respondent-

Appellee Provincial Assessor will re-assess the subject property for

determination of Petitioner-Appellant’s exemptability from taxes under R.A.

7160 (see TSN, p. 3, dated March 3, 1994, attached).

Reference: Book VII, pp. 272-279

Under date of March 4, 1994, the parties submitted to this Board their

aforequoted COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE ACTION.

IN view of the said Compromise Agreement, this Board shall not delve on

the issues of this case but is only obliged to determine whether the

COMPROMISE AGREEMENT is not contrary to law, morals, good customs,

public order, or public policy.

Finding the said COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO TERMINATE

ACTION not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public

policy, the same is hereby APPROVED.

WHEREFORE, parties are hereby enjoined to comply faithfully with the

terms and conditions of the said COMPROMISE AGREEMENT TO

TERMINATE ACTION.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, June 14, 1995.

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed)

ELEANOR A. SANTOS VACANT Member Member

Reference: Book VII, pp. 272-279