Good morning, Chairperson Manuel De Jesus Siayngco, Commissioner Roberto Geotina, Commissioner Thelma Mariano, officers and staff of the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA).

Thank you for giving me the privilege to be part of your Anniversary.

Forty-three years in existence is a feat for the Central Board of Assessment Appeals that deserves recognition. It speaks of long years of committed public service in providing redress in the assessment and collection of real property taxes at the local government level, with the goal of making real property taxation accurate, fair, and equitable.

I gathered that CBAA, as an institution, had undergone several transformations. Starting in 1972, under PD 25, the CBAA was created for the purpose of giving the aggrieved parties the avenue to appeal the decisions of Provincial or City Boards of Tax Appeals pertaining to the valuations of real properties. It was composed of the Secretary of Finance, as chairman, and the Secretary of Justice, and the Secretary of Local Governments and Community Development, as members. Then in 1974, with PD 464, the CBAA was given the authority to exercise appellate jurisdiction over assessment cases decided by the Local Board of Assessment Appeals. At that point, the CBAA heard and rendered final judgments on cases, including but not limited to: the imposition of back taxes under PD 464, the entitlement of exemption from payment of real property taxes of the Light Rail Transit Authority and the Metro Transit Organization, the imposition of realty tax to gas station equipment and machinery permanently affixed by Caltex to its gas station and pavement, and the validity of the tax assessments made by the Municipal Assessor of Itogon, Benguet, on the bunkhouses of Benguet Corporation occupied as dwelling by its rank and file employees.

The CBAA experienced its most major transformation under Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991. As our government moved towards decentralization and local fiscal autonomy, the LGC made the CBAA an independent body which had more focused jurisdiction and powers. The LGC mandated the CBAA to exercise appellate jurisdiction over real property tax assessment cases, claim for refund of erroneous payment of real property taxes under protest, and claim for tax credits for excessive payment of real property taxes and interests which were decided by the Local Board of Assessment Appeals.

The CBAA has thus continuously evolved in order to better safeguard the symbiotic relationship between the government and the taxpayers.

Let me take this opportunity to share with you some updates from the Department of Finance. Recently, the Secretary of Finance has directed the local government units to update their decades-old land valuations in order to improve public revenues. Also, the DOF, through the BLGF, is currently in the process of updating the Philippine Valuation Standards which aims to be a guide on how assets should be appraised/valued, bring greater efficiency to the appraisals/valuations of property for all purposes, and increase the professionalism of the appraisal and assessor professions in the Philippines. We are also pushing for reforms in the valuation sector with the Real Property Valuation Reform bill which is now pending in the 17th Congress.

As these thrusts will impact on the appeals system on real property assessments, CBAA should therefore continuously strive for the improvement in the procedural aspect of appeal towards a more efficient handling of real property assessment cases. I congratulate you as you launch today your newly promulgated “Consolidated and Revised Rules of Procedures Before the LBAA and the CBAA”.

As one of the key players in ensuring that taxation is accurate, just, and reasonable, I commend the CBAA for your efforts and dedication. The performance of the CBAA is a testament of progressive public service. In consonance with your anniversary theme, “Energizing the Drive of CBAA and LBAAs towards Equitable and Progressive Taxation in this Time of Change,” the DOF urges the CBAA to always aim for excellence. I hope the CBAA will continuously fulfill its mandate, strengthen its institutional capabilities, improve its oversight of the local boards, and respond to the everyday challenges that continue to give reason for the existence of the CBAA.

Happy 43rd anniversary!

Delivered by:
Director Richard S.T. Uy
Revenue Operations Group
Department of Finance