Republic of the Philippines
CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS
M a n i l a
BELLE BAY CITY CORPORATION,
CBAA CASE NO. L-51-A
-versus- (LBAA Case No. 2003-08)
LOCAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS FOR THE CITY OF PARAÑAQUE,
CITY ASSESSOR OF THE CITY OF PARAÑAQUE,
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O R D E R
On July 30, 2012, this Board rendered a Decision in the above-entitled case. Not satisfied, Petitioner-Appellant filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration on September 26, 2012.
Alleging that it received a copy of the assailed Decision on September 11, 2012, Petitioner-Appellant raised the following:
WHETHER OR NOT THIS HONORABLE BOARD ERRED IN HOLDING THAT PETITIONER-APPELLANT SHOULD COMPLY WITH SECTION 226 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160.
THIS FINDING THAT THE ISSUED ASSESSMENTS ARE NOT NULL AND VOID IS CONTRARY TO THE EXISTING FACTS AND APPLICABLE LAW.
SECTION 226 OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160 DOES NOT APPLY TO THE APPEAL FILED BY PETITIONER-APPELLANT.”
The gist of this Board’s Decision, being assailed by Petitioner-Appellee, was that the Respondent Assessor had the authority to make the questioned assessments, although the Respondent Assessor, in the exercise of that authority, may have committed certain errors; and, since the questioned assessments, erroneous they may have been, were valid, appeals against the said assessment should have been made in accordance with the provisions of Section 226 of R.A. 7160.
Petitioner-Appellant argues that the circumstances attendant in the case at bar are similar to those present in the cases of Ismael A. Mathay, Jr. vs. Victor J. Macalincag, et al. (G.R. No. 97618, 16 December 1993); Alejandro B. Ty, et al. vs. Hon. Aurelio C. Trampe, et al. (G.R. No. 11757, 01 December 1995); and Basey Wood Industries, Inc. vs. Board of Assessment Appeals of Samar and Provincial Assessor of Samar (CBAA Case No. 100, 12 May 1978.)
In the Mathay/Javier/Puyat-Reyes case (supra), the Supreme Court ruled that the Schedule of Market Values solely prepared by the respondent assessor was null and void and without force and effect for having been made in violation of Section 9 of P.D. 921, which provides:
“Sec. 9. Preparation of Schedule of Values for Real Property within the Metropolitan Manila Area. — The Schedule of Values that will serve as the 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 Assessors of the Districts created under Section one hereof, with 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 thereby issued by the Secretary of Finance.” (Emphasis supplied)
The doctrine in the abovementioned case was reaffirmed by the same Court in Alejandro B. Ty, et al. v. The Hon. Aurelio C. Trampe (supra).
In Basey Wood Industries, Inc. vs. Board of Assessment Appeals of Samar and Provincial Assessor of Samar (supra),the assessment of subject property was declared invalid and illegal because the respondent Provincial Assessor failed to observe the requirements in the assessment of timber and forest lands covered by two or more provinces prescribed in Section 5(3) of P.D. 853, promulgated on December 9, 1975, and Section 4, Rule III of Finance Assessment Regulations No. 3-76 dated February 9, 1976, which are quoted hereunder, viz:
“Presidential Decree No. 853:
‘Section 5(3) – In cases where timber and forest lands cover two or more provinces and/or cities, the Provincial/City Assessors concerned shall jointly appraise and assess the property in accordance with regulations to be issued by the Secretary of Finance.’ (Emphasis supplied)
“Rule III of Assessment Regulations No. 3-76 dated February 9, 1976:
‘Section 4. – Where timber and forest lands are covered by two or more provinces and/or cities, the Provincial/City Assessors shall automatically constitute a Joint Appraisal Committee to appraise and assess the property in accordance with these regulations. The Committee shall select the Chairman among themselves who, in such capacity, shall issue for and in behalf of the Joint Appraisal Committee the tax declaration and such other documents necessary in connection with the tax liabilities of the properties involved.’
It is clear that, in the Mathay/Javier/Puyat-Reyes case, the Ty v. Trampe case, as well as the Basey Wood Industries, Inc. case, the assessments subject thereof were illegal and void for having been made without the proper authority on the part of the assessors concerned. The assessments being null and void, there could have been no valid notices of assessment to taxpayers/petitioners. Without the valid notices of assessment, the reglementary period within which to appeal to the LBAA did not commence to run.
In the instant case, Petitioner-Appellant argues that the questioned assessment is null and void because the respondent assessor failed to observe the “striping method” in the appraisal of land and to consider the sunken and/or underdeveloped condition of certain areas of the subject properties, as mandated in the Department of Finance Local Assessment Regulations No. 1-92 and/or the City of Parañaque Ordinance No. 96-16 and that, the assessment being null and void, Section 226 of R.A. 7160 does not apply. DOF Local Assessment Regulations No. 1-92 and Parañaque City Ordinance No. 96-16 provide the manner of procedure in the assessment of certain classes of properties. They do not touch on the authority of the assessor.
Even if the respondent assessor failed to observe the provisions of the Department of Finance Local Assessment Regulations No. 1-92 and/or Parañaque City Ordinance No. 96-16 in the appraisal of subject properties, such failure does not invalidate the subject assessments. At best or at worst, such failure on the part of respondent assessor may have made said assessments erroneous, but not null and void. Respondent Assessor had the necessary authority to make the questioned assessments, although, in the exercise of that authority, the respondent assessor may have committed some mistakes. Therefore, the questioned assessments are valid and, being so, Petitioner-Appellant’s course of action should have been a timely appeal to the LBAA under Section 226 of R.A. 7160, which 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 prpoperty 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 declaration and such affidavits or documents submitted in support of the appeal.” (Emphasis supplied)
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Motion for Reconsideration of Petitioner-Appellant is hereby DENIED.
Manila, Philippines, February 26, 2013.
OFELIA A. MARQUEZ
WITH DISSENTING OPINION SIGNED
ROBERTO D. GEOTINA CAMILO L. MONTENEGRO