Republic of the Philippines

CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS Manila

CENTRAL AZUCARERA DE BAIS, INC., Petitioner-Appellant,

– versus –

LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT

CBAA CASE NO. V-11 In Re:
TD Nos. 647, 6-481 and 6-478

APPEALS OF BAIS CITY,
Appellee,

LBAA Case No. 96-b-02 City of Bais

– and –

CITY ASSESSOR OF BAIS CITY, Respondent-Appellee.
x – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – x

DECISION

This is an appeal from the Order rendered by the Appellee Local Board

on November 5, 1996 in LBAA Case No. 96-B-02 dismissing Petitioner-

Appellant’s appeal for allegedly being filed out of time.

The undisputed facts of the case, as borne out by the records, are as

follows:

I. Respondent-Appellee City Assessor of Bais City, Mr. Rolando F.

Grapa, issued on December 18, 1995 three (3) tax declarations covering the

properties of Petitioner-Appellant, with the realty taxes thereon made effective

January 1, 1996, as follows:

A. Tax Declaration No. 647 (Revised) for Lot No. 788-A of Plan Psd-15249, described and bounded under TCT No. T-1083;

B. Tax Declaration No. 6-482 (New) for the buildings constructed on said Lot No. 788-A; and

C. Tax Declaration No. 6-478 (new) for the machineries installed on said Lot Nos. 788-A.

II. On December 20, 1995 Petitioner-Appellant received from the Office

of Respondent-Appellee copies of the three (3) tax declarations above-

described.

Reference: Book IX, pp. 194-201

III. On February 16, 1996 Petitioner-Appellant filed its “Petition for

Recomputation, Revision, Correction and/or Cancellation of Assessments” with

the Office of Respondent-Appellee.

IV. On August 15, 1996 Petitioner-Appellant received through registered

mail a copy of the 1st Indorsement by Respondent-Appellee dated August 13,

1996 which reads as follows:

“1st Indorsement “August 13, 1996

“Respectfully returned to the President, Central Azucarera de Bais its within (sic) Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction and/or Cancellation of Assessments dated February 16, 1996 with all the other indorsements inviting its Attention to 1st Indorsement of the Acting Chairman of the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Bais City, which is self-explanatory.

(SGD) “Rolando F. Grapa
“City Assessor

V. The said 1st Indorsement of the Acting Chairman of the Local Board

of Assessment Appeals mentioned in the next preceding paragraph reads as

follows:

“1st Indorsement “23 July 1996

“Respectfully returned to the Honorable Sangguniang Panlunsod, this city, the within Resolution No. 96-190, a copy was received on July 12, 1996 relative to the request of the President of Central Azucarera de Bais, Inc. For a recomputation, revision, modification and/or correction of the re-assessment made on some of the property, more specifically those described under Tax Declaration Nos. 6-477 and 6-478, with the following comments and recommendation, to wit:

“I

“Section 472 of RA 7160, otherwise known and cited as the Local Government Code of 1991 enumerates the qualifications, powers and duties of assessors. More specifically, paragraph (b), sub-paragraph 7 of the same section expressly states:

“exercise the functions of appraisal and assessment primarily for taxation purposes of all real properties in the local government units concerned.”

“Clearly, the power to appraise and assess real property for taxation purposes is lodged with the City Assessor.

“II

“Section 226 of the same Local Government Code provides for the remedy in an instance where the owner of the property or any person have legal interest therein who may not be satisfied with the action of the provincial, city or municipal assessor in the assessment of his property. Thus, said Section 226 provides:

Reference: Book IX, pp. 194-201

“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 the 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, together with copies of the tax declarations and such affidavits or documents submitted in support of the appeal.”

“In view of the foregoing, we recommend that said communication be returned to City Assessor, this city for whatever action he may take.

(SGD)
“VICTOR C. PATRIMONIO “City Prosecutor

VI. On October 9, 1996, Petitioner-Appellant filed its “Appeal on

Assessment” with the Local Board.

VII. On November 7, 1996 Petitioner-Appellant received a copy of the

Order of the Local Board dated November 5, 1996 dismissing Petitioner-

Appellant’s “Appeal on Assessment” for not being filed within the reglementary

period.

VIII. This Board received on December 19, 1996 through registered mail

copies of the Petitioner-Appellant’s “Notice of Appeal” and “Appellant’s Brief”

both dated December 5, 1996.

Petitioner-Appellant made the following assignment of errors:

1. The Respondent-Appellee City Assessor erred in not ruling upon and in returning to the Petitioner-Appellant CAB the latter’s “Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments”;

2. The Appellee LBAA erred in ruling that Petitioner-Appellant CAB’s “Petitioner for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments” did not toll or suspend in any way the running of the prescriptive period to file an appeal;

3. The Appellee LBAA erred in ruling that CAB’s appeal to the LBAA was not filed within the reglementary period provided by law; and

4. The Appellee LBAA and Respondent-Appellee failed to consider the meritorious claims of the Petitioner-Appellant in its “Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments” and its appeal.

Petitioner-Appellant advanced the following grounds, to wit:

1. The Responden-Appellee City Legal Assessor failed to consider that it is his duty to rule upon the Petitioner-Appellant CAB’s “Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments.” Thus, it is incumbent upon him to rule on the same and he could not just merely return the same to the Petitioner-Appellant.

2. According to settled jurisprudence, a “Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments” is considered as a

Reference: Book IX, pp. 194-201

motion for reconsideration. Thus, it suspends and tolls the running of the prescriptive period for filing an appeal.

3. The appeal to the LBAA was filed within the reglementary allowed by law.

4. Petitioner-Appellant’s grounds for its “Petition for Recomputation, Revision, Correction, and/or Cancellation of Assessments” and “Appeal” to the LBAA were based on meritorious and legal grounds.

Petitioner-Appellant proceeded to discuss the grounds enumerated

above, citing authorities therefor.

Section 226 of RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government

Code of 1991, specifically provides thus:

“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 the 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, together with copies of the tax declarations and such affidavits or documents submitted in support of the appeal. (Underscoring supplied)

It is very clear that, under the above-quoted provision of RA 7160, a

taxpayer has only sixty (60) days from the date he receives the written notice of

assessment within which to appeal to the local board concerned. The records of

this case show that Petitioner-Appellant received copies of the questioned tax

declarations on December 20, 1995. Under Section 226, supra, therefore,

Petitioner-Appellant had only until February 18, 1996 within which to appeal to

the Appellee Board. Yet, as also shown by the records, Petitioner-Appellant

actually filed its “Appeal on Assessment” with the LBAA on the very day it was

dated, October 9, 1996.

Petitioner-Appellant was and is not prevented by law to ask the City

Assessor for recomputation, revision, correction, and/or cancellation of the

questioned assessments. But such a request is addressed to the sound

discretion of the Assessor and the taxpayer must take the risk that, in the

meanwhile, the prescriptive period of appeal to the local board may run out on

it.

As we held in Filipino Telephone Corporation vs. BAA and City Assessor

of Baguio (CBAA Case No. 254, December 27, 1990):

Reference: Book IX, pp. 194-201

“While the 60-day period for appeals in Section 30, supra, is mandatory and jurisdictional (see G.R. No. L-12104, Garganta et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., and CBAA Case Nos. 44, 55 and 57), the remedy under Section 9, supra, is addressed to the sound discretion of the Provincial or City Assessor and its pendency does not have the effect of suspending the prescriptive period of appeal to the local board” (Mati Baptist Hospital, Incorporated vs. BAA of Davao Oriental and Provincial Assessor of Davao Oriental, CBAA Case No. 137).

Section 30 in the above-quoted decision refers to Section 30 of PD 464,

otherwise known as the Real Property Tax Code, which was reproduced in

Section 226 of RA 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.

The right to appeal is a mere statutory privilege and may be exercised

only in the manner and in accordance with the provision of law on the matter

(City Assessor of Baguio vs. BAA of Baguio City & Benguet Consolidated, Inc.,

CBAA Case No. 45, October 17, 1975). The questioned assessments,

erroneous though they may have been, had become final and unappealable by

virtue of the taxpayer’s failure to timely question on appeal the assessments

before the Local Board.

WHEREFORE, this Board resolved to AFFIRM en toto the Order of the

Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Bais City dated November 5, 1996 in

LBAA Case No. 96-B-02.

SO ORDERED.

Manila, Philippines, March 25, 1998.

(Signed) MARGARITA G. MAGISTRADO
Chairman

(Signed)
ANGEL P. PALOMARES Member

(Signed) BENJAMIN M. KASALA
Member

Reference: Book IX, pp. 194-201