Archive for April 24, 2011

ABONO VS. PROVINCE



Engr.Rosendo So, national chair of Abono Party-list, (4thfrom left) says hewill consult with landowners and lawyers on a civil case to be filed against the provincial officials which refuses to budge on the amended inflated valuation of Real Property Tax.So made the declaration during the Patrima press conference held in April 19 at Jollibee in Lucao, Dagupan City. In the photo is Provincial Assessor Nestor Quimbao (extreme left) .

April 24, 2011 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment

Alaminos launches ‘Gali-langoy Festival’


ALAMINOS CITY- An athletic event in the sea that involves swimming, sailing and kayaking, will be held at the Hundred Islands National Park as a part of the Pista’y Dayat celebration in the city.

The event, dubbed “Gali-langoy” Eco-Adventure Race is a version of triathlon, and is meant to cater to adventurous tourists who want more than enjoy the beauty of the world-renowned islands. (Gali-langoy comes from the Pangasinan word Galila which means come, and langoy which means swim.)

The race will be a four-day event -April 25, April 29, April 30 and May 1.

Mayor Hernani Braganza said Gali-langoy, features three different events: Island-to-Island Swimming, Parao (Sailboat) Racing and Kayak Racing that will test individual power and strength and teamwork.

The event is open to all sports enthusiasts, but will only involve 12 teams with seven members each coming from any part of the country. Acceptance will be on first come basis.

Each team will be composed of three swimmers, three parao racers and 1 kayak racer will have to earn the highest total points in the seven-stage race to emerge as champion.

Supt. Rolando Saltat, city chief of police, said the race routes for the three day adventure will cover three islands for swimming –Lopez to Quezon Island (323 meters), Quezon to Clave (862 meters), and Clave to Cagao (1,034 meters).

After the swimming, the racers will use parao (a local paddle boat ) from Cagao to Romulo Island ( 570 meters) and from Romulo to Governor’s Island (562 meters)

The last leg will be a kayak race from Governor’s Island to Lucap Wharf that will cover 3,864 meters, or almost four kilometers.

Braganza said the primary objective of the 1st Gali-Langoy Eco-Adventure Race is to further reposition and repackage the Hundred Islands as an eco-adventure and family-oriented tourism destination by introducing a unique and extraordinary water sports without sacrificing the environment.

The dealine for submission of entries will be at five o clock of April 25, 2011 at the Hundred Islands Youth and Sports Council, second floor, Alaminos City Hall. Those interested to join may contact numbers: (075) 551-2253 / (0917) 998-1010 / (0999) 533-4876 and look for Mr. Elvis Sison and Mr. Gil Reate. (Yolanda Sotelo)

April 24, 2011 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

AJ Perez’s fan in Dagupan laments his death


Victoria and AJ,hours before the actor met a deadly accident on a Saturday night.

April 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment

Abono to sue prov’l gov’t on land tax


DAGUPAN CITY-The chair of the Abono Party-list declared that unless the Sangguniang Panlalawigan reviews the Real Property Tax, businessmen and farmers will file an injunction case against the provincial government.

The spiraling land tax, implemented earlier this year after Governor Amado T. Espino signed it into law in December 10, 2010, incensed many Pangasinenses.

So said he had no choice but to file a civil suit despite being an ally of the governor and Vice Governor Ferdinand Calimlim.

He said a suit would make the provincial officials more prudent, similar to the what happened when he and other businessmen sued the operators of the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town.

He cited the operators there now are more cautious after he and his group sued them after they sank a large portions of Pangasinan with dam water in 2009 at the height of Typoon Pepeng.

“San Roque (officials) are now careful of the volume of water they release because of the case,” he said.

In a press conference called by Governor Espino, together with members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and a number of mayors last April 11, he said there would be no amendment to lower the rates of the RPT.

The province has been deprived for six years of tax increase of the land tax despite the mandate of the Local Government Code that there will be valuation every three years, he said.

“Iyong amendahan dito sa palagay ko wala na tayung magagawa doon. Marami na tayong trabahong gagawin. So gagalawin din natin ito sa 2012, kaya ituloy na natin ito dahil ang assessment na ito iyon din ang assessment ng 2012. Okay ba sa inyo?” Espino said.

So and farmer- leader Oftociano Manalo also disagreed with the pronouncement of Board Member Danny Uy that the new valuation will not affect the farmers who Uy said are mostly tenants.

Uy said in that press conference that of ten farmers he randomly interviewed, not one of them told him he owned the land he tills.

So said farmers are affected because they own a house that is subject to RPT.

He cited a farmer who paid P1, 040 of his RPT last year and was billed with a spiraling P3, 200 for the same property this year.

“Sanay na kami na mababa ang tingin sa amin ng government. Twice a year na lang kami nag lalagay ng fertilizer (on the farmland). Hindi man lang kami mabigyan ng subsidy. Ngayon mataas pa ang increase ng RPT,” Manalo lamented.

Manalo said that in the town of Agno about 30% of the land owners there are cultivators.

So, Manalo, and other guests also assailed the lack of public hearing before the approval of the law last year.

Media man Bernie Erasquin told Quimbao that in the only two hearings called by the Provincial Board at the Capitol in Lingayen, he saw only brokers and BIR officials who were invited as resource persons.

This observation of Erasquin is one of the reasons why taxpayers are incensed because the farmers, the majority that would be affected by the tax, were not consulted by officials of the province who were in a hurry to pass the law, they said.

April 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

Why all the fuss on the new provincial real property tax?


Taxes are the bloodlines of the government. Without them, a government could not exist. The delivery of basic services to the people such as health, social welfare, education, agriculture and other development programs will be affected if taxes are not properly collected and implemented. Taxes are either national or local in application. National taxes are those collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC). I will dwell here about taxes in local applications.

There are many forms of taxes at the local government unit level. The basic tax is the community tax certificate (CTC) or cedula which all residents in a community who are at least 18 years of age are required to have. But this basic tax is sometimes not complied with. It is taken for granted that many people are not aware of its importance. I observed that cedulas are being secured when some transactions require them such as getting loans from the bank, notarial services ,etc.. Cedulas are not consistently secured from the municipal and barangay treasury offices. They are supposed to be secured every January of the year.

Another form of taxation is the real property tax (RPT). This is a tax imposed on the land including its improvements and locations. RPT will depend also on land classifications- residential, commercial, industrial and institutional. An example of institutional are churches and non-profitable schools and charities. Most often, those classified as institutional are not taxable like in the case of the Catholic Church and other schools, colleges and universities.

Taxation, however, should not be burdensome to the taxpaying public. The government should consider many factors in imposing taxes on real properties. While the government’s aim is to increase revenues in order to have funds for developmental programs, the taxpayers should also be consulted on tax impositions otherwise there will be resistance. This is the case in Pangasinan when the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Provincial Ordinance No. 146-2010 adopting the new schedule of fair and market values for lands including buildings and structures. The Ordinance was approved on December 10, 2010 by the members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Governor Amado T. Espino Jr.

The taxpaying public in many municipalities in the province were surprised when last January this year, taxes on their real properties dramatically increased by at least 200% for farmlands, 300% for residential lands and 500% for commercial lands. They were now questioning the sudden and abrupt increase on real properties, contending that the proper procedures on its imposition were not observed. There is now resistance from the taxpaying public.

What triggered the resistance from the taxpaying public is a matter of procedures. Has there been public hearing conducted prior to the passing of the Ordinance? If so, who were in attendance? Were the people properly informed that new taxes on real properties will be imposed? Granting that there was indeed public consultations after its passage, were the other procedures followed?

I am not a lawyer but let us consult the Local Government Code of 1991 or Republic Act No. 7160. This law is the guide of local government units-province, cities , municipalities and even barangays in their operations which include local taxation.

An Ordinance to take effect must be published in newspapers in general circulation. If it’s weekly newspaper, it should be published at least for three consecutive weeks. Other form of publication is the posting of Ordinance in public bulletin boards in the province, cities, municipalities and barangays. Those opposing the Ordinance said that it was not ever published or posted in the bulletin board for the people information. Granting again that the Ordinance was published, will it be immediately effective? Will it be imposed coercively to the taxpaying public? The local government code says it otherwise.

The core of the imposition of the Ordinance emanates from the Municipal Assessors Office. Prior to the imposition of the new real property tax, the Assessor should at first prepare and issue a Notice of Assessment to the taxpayer. The taxpayer, upon receiving such notice, may contest the new tax and appeal to the Provincial Assessment Board which is composed of the Provincial Treasurer, Provincial Assessor and the Provincial Engineer. The appeal should be acted upon within 60 days. The question here is: What has been the basis of the municipal assessors in computing the new taxes? Did they just base them on the old market value and assigned the required percentage increase? Had there been ocular inspection on the land and further classified including its improvements? What was then the real basis of the new assessed market values?

After the notice of assessment has been received by the taxpayer and no contest has been done, the municipal assessor will then issue an order of payment to the taxpayer. It is only then that the taxpayer will pay the tax to the Municipal Treasurer’s Office.

Why the haste in the imposition of the new RPT? The provincial government said that the latest tax update was in 2003. It has not been increased three years thereafter as required by the local government code (Section 219, IRR of LGC). This means that RPT was not increased in 2007 and 2010. Could it be that no increases have been effected in those years because of politics? Remember that 2007 and 2010 were election years.

Now, let’s go back to the effectivity of the Ordinance. Is the Ordinance already effective this year? The local government code says, it is still not effective yet. Section 221 on date of effectivity says: “ All assessments or reassessments made after the first day of January of any year shall take effect on the first day of January of the succeeding year.” But the provincial government may contend that the Ordinance was not done in January 1, 2011 but on December 10,2010, so the Ordinance is already effective. How about its publication? If it was published, then its effectivity should be in 2012, not this year to give ample time to inform the taxpaying public.

Well, those are from layman’s point of view. I am not a lawyer as I’ve said but common sense could be applied in the interpretation of the local government code. If the proper procedures were observed, the new real property tax in the province should have not been questioned and getting criticisms from the taxpaying public.

Of course, we need funds to operate the government. But in doing so, the public must be properly addressed and consulted. This was the reason of the flak the Ordinance is getting these days.

Lest I forget, the new RPT is not the making of the municipalities but a provincial government’s imposition.

(For comments, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com)

April 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

BIR boss says high RPT good for agency


BIR boss Atty. Beverly Milo (left) and Assistant Regional Director Atty. Ernesto de Vota answer questions from the press

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

URDANETA CITY- The Bureau of internal Revenue head in eastern Pangasinan said the new Real Property Tax passed by the provincial government bodes well for the collection of the Bureau of Internal Revenue if the provincial government valuation is much higher than its zonal valuation

BIR collects taxes on lands through capital gain and sales taxes.

Revenue District-6 boss lawyer Beverly B. Milo said the computation of any internal revenue tax against the value of the real property shall be, whichever is the higher of the fair market value as determined by the Commissioner of the BIR or her office, or the fair market value as shown in the schedule of values of the Provincial and City Assessors.

This is provided by Paragraph (E), Section 6 of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines, Milo said.

In the recent press conference in Dagupan City attended by Abono Party-list Chairman Rosendo So, Provincial Irrigators leader Oftociano Manalo, and other stake holders of the real estate business in Pangasinan, So argued that the zonal valuation of the BIR in Pangasinan is still based on the old lower rates even there was already a public hearing last year for a new higher zonal valuation.

The new valuation of the RPT was assailed by many sectors in Pangasinan to be excessive and confiscatory.

The land tax was signed into law by Governor Amado T. Espino in December 10, 2010 and was implemented earlier this year.

The valuation of the new land tax spiked up to an average of 300% all over the province.

Eng. So said that the new zonal valuation of the BIR has not been implemented because of the campaign promise of President Benigno Aquino III that there would be no new taxes this year.

Provincial Assessor Nestor Quimbao said during the press conference that the new zonal valuation of the tax bureau is higher than the new land tax passed by the Provincial Board.

Quimbao said based on the valuation of the BIR, a square meter of a rice land in a particular town is P50 while the valuation of the province is only P30.

So challenged Quimbao to accompany him to the BIR to show to him that the valuation of the tax bureau is still lower than the new RPT.

The Abono Party chair said that the low valuation of the BIR is comparable to the valuation of the Register of Deeds in the province.

Meanwhile, Atty. Milo explained that a non-profit educational institution is exempted to any taxes by the government.

She said that after the institution deducted the salaries of its staff and personnel, all its profits are reverted to its coffer.

“It should remain with the corporation. It would remain to be reverted to the corporation as rebate earnings,” she stressed.

She said the salaries of the officials of the institution are taxable through a monthly withholding income tax

April 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

Corruptions at the Department of Education


This is a story told to me by a public school teacher. This story can be better re-told in the vernacular:

Girl: Manong Bayad (Big brother, my jeepney fare)

Driver: Saan galing? (Where did you come from?)

Girl: Student, Nursing, St. Paul, bagung sakay (I just rode your jeep).

Boy: (Affronted by the air of the girl, paid P500)

Manong Bayad (Big brother, my fare)

Driver 😦 Angry) Ilan sa P500? (How many passengers for the P500?)!

Boy: Isa lang, Kip d change, seaman, bagong baba! (Only one, but you keep the change of my money, . I am a seaman who just disembarked from my ship).

Woman: (Feeling affronted by the arrogance of the boy, paid P1000!) Bayad, paki-abot! (My fare, please give to the driver).

Driver: Anak ng … Wala bang barya? (Son of Bi___, you don’t have loose change?)

Woman: Sa inyo na lang iyung sukli manong, teacher po bagong loan!

(The loose change yours, Mr. Driver. I am a public school teacher. I just received my loan.)

***

Why do some lending institutions that cater to teachers thrive at the Department of Education?

They are in cahoots with the public school’s Regional Director and the paymaster.

A lowest ranked teacher who receives P18 thousand a month but who borrows P50 thousand has to pay it for two years in a monthly amortization of P 2,521 -inclusive of the P438 interest- a month

He/she would find himself/herself receiving a monthly check of P15, 479. The same situation if he/she borrows using the P15, 479.

It’s a windfall for these lucky-as-Lotto-winner financial institutions that earned up to 21.024% interest for a P50 thousand loan.

Interest per month is efficiently collected because somebody in the regional office like the laughing- to –the- bank regional director, and other conspiring bigwig-malefactors give the imprimatur to the paymaster to deduct the loan payment before they would be released to the provinces.

***

Why are some public school supervisors and principals bullish every graduation day?

Because they get a financial cut from every rented toga and cap, and graduation picture from the captive impoverished parents and students who join the commencement exercise in the kindergarten, elementary, and high school levels.

A toga and cap for a graduate in the three levels are rented for P40. But unwitting graduate and parent do not know about the fast one done to them after they paid P100 for the package, as corrupt school officials pocketed P60 from each of the graduates.

“Sometime it is the principal only who pockets the overprice,” my source told me.

It is the same situation with those graft-ridden pictures that cost P100 for each graduate.

“The jacked-up price reached up to P25, where the student pays P125,” my source told me.

****

A former implementer of government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines told me he has read my “How Philippine officials pocketed some loans from gov’t banks” in my Blog that saw some thousands of hits,ahem, already because of the “intrigued” I sowed.

He said that mayors and councilors could easily pocket some portions of the loan, say P7 million for the P50 million loan vis-à-vis the “progress-building” policy of the LBP of how much loan it releases to its funded town hall , market building, and other public infrastructure.

He said progress building means LBP inspector go to the work site and check how much of the building is finished as based on the cost of the loan before the bank releases the money.

“Usually the cost of the project is jacked-up by those municipal officials,”

He said these officials already earned from the cut the mayor’s gave them.

He told me officials of the LBP do not check the priced-up invoices of the materials as it is the work of Commission of Audit.

He said some mayors use dummy to construct a municipal project.

He said aside from the portion of the loan illegally pocketed by the mayor, he gets another 10% from the Overhead Contingency not to mention his 10% as Contractor’s Profit .All of these percentages are sanctioned by law.

(You can read my selected intriguing but thought-provoking columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com. You can send comments too at totomortz@yahoo.com)

April 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment


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