Archive for May 2, 2011

National Awardee

Abono Chairman Rosendo O. So receives the National leadership Achievement Award from National Federation
of Hog Farmers, Inc. (NFHFI) Chairman Zosimo J. de Leon in Baguio City . The award is given by NFHFI to leaders who unselfishly contributed to the preservation of local farmers. So is distinguished for his Outstanding achievements, overall commitment and dedication to the protection of the local industries.

May 2, 2011 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

The “provincial real property tax” syndrome

I thought that after series of press conferences between opposing camps- the provincial government and those against the increase of the real property tax, the issue will die down naturally. But no, the furor on the implementation of Provincial Ordinance 146-2010 which adopts the new schedule of fair and market values for lands including buildings and structures, is somewhat escalating.

More opposition to its implementation are surfacing from various sectors- farmers group, professionals and businessmen. They said, after talking with them recently, that the new “real property tax (RPT) ” imposed by the provincial government is indeed very taxing and burdensome.

The provincial government, through Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. published recently in some weeklies in the province ( this paper not included for obvious reason as we did not receive a copy of the advertisement) “ So the People May Know” explaining the new increase on RPT in the province. It was a piece of information of the provincial government addressed to the sectoral leaders and the people of Pangasinan which seek “kind understanding and constant support” and to “put the contentious issue to rest…promote the welfare and the best interest of the people.”

A mere glance of the said information brought many questions to the minds of the ordinary taxpayers including this writer. The “clarifications” have not at all clarified the issues at hand, but even more beclouded the issue, to the consternation of Anong Manalo of Balungao, a farmer-leader of irrigators association.

Let’s dissect the provincial government’s statements.

It said that the last general revision of property assessments in Pangasinan was conducted in 2003 and supposedly updated three years thereafter- 2006 and 2009. But there were no revisions after the eight years period. “ The third general revision should be effective in January 2012”, the information stated. That is now the issue Mr. Governor. The implementation of your new RPT should be in the year 2012, not in 2011 following the three years interval for revision as stated in the Local Government Code of 1991. That is what Section 219 of the local government is all about.. “ reassessments and assessments will take effect only on the following year (2012)” since the passage of the Ordinance was done only in December 2010. It was only approved 50 days after the issuance of DILG and Department of Finance Joint Memorandum Circular 2010-01 dated October 20,2010. Why it was done in haste is still a big question as of now.

Many are questioning why it is abruptly implemented this year when it is very clear as crystal that the said Ordinance was only approved on December 10, 2010- meaning there were only 21 days before its implementation on January 1, 2011. The issue that it has not been updated in 2006 and 2009 was the making of the provincial government. Why was the RPT not updated in those years? It’s very clear Pareng Brando that if it was updated, political campaigns will be affected because the implementation would be in 2007 and 2010 which are election years.

“For the last eight years, the people of Pangasinan have in fact been enjoying a prolonged real property tax holiday”, the paper continued. Has there been really tax holidays within those years? Nunca y nada Toto Mortz. How can you say that there was tax holiday when the taxpayers were paying their taxes annually based on 2003 assessments. For a tax holiday, the taxpayers should not shell out any single centavo as payment. Holiday nga… magpahinga sila sa pagbabayad. Hmmp, I don’t fully grasp what does the “tax holiday the provincial government was saying.

The paper also stated a comparison of the rates of zonal valuation and RPT taking Pozorrubio as an example. For the information of the reading public, zonal valuation is under the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and of national application while RPT is of local application. Zonal valuation and RPT are not the same thing. Zonal valuation and RPT could only come in during land transaction like sale of real property or land donation. Sales tax and capital gains tax will be collected based on zonal valuation or RPT whichever is higher. This means that when there’s no land transaction, zonal valuation and RPT are silent. However, on the local revenue collections, the taxpayer will pay the RPT annually as assessed by the local assessors. I am surprised why the provincial government compared RPT to that of zonal valuation when they are not directly interrelated.

The most glaring statement in that paper is ,” A closer analysis of land ownership, however, will reveal that most farmers are only tenants (emphasis mine), and those that own the lands that they till own less than one hectare, and 2 hectares at the most.” This is quite a debatable statement. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has the list of farmers who are the beneficiaries of the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) and also list of farmers under the Operation Leasehold (OL). OLT recipients are already deemed owners of the land while those under OL, farmers have specific rentals on the land they till. It would have been clearer if the provincial government has specified its source of data and defined the “tenancy” being referred to. Granting that indeed most are tenants, are these farmers have no home lots and improvement of their houses? Under the new RPT, these are included in the 300% increases.

Contrary to what was stated that the issues raised by the critics of new RPT were “ unfounded speculations and malicious insinuations”, a thinking taxpayer will say otherwise- the new RPT is a “bitter pill” to swallow as its computations were baseless. This will be likened to the 12% Value added tax (VAT) espoused by Senator Ralph Recto which affected his political career in 2007.

I hope the provincial government will issue a more convincing statement not so shallow that an ordinary taxpayer could read between the lines.

(for comments, email me at

May 2, 2011 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

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