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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 8, 2016
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SP to act on tax code repeal

The request of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia for the repeal of the new Real Property Tax Code will be among the first in the agenda to be taken up by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod in its session next week, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said yesterday.

Leonardia has requested the SP to repeal City Ordinance No. 08-14-700 or the new Real Property Tax Code that updates the market value of real properties in Bacolod.

Familiaran said this was mentioned by the mayor in his inaugural address Wednesday. Whatever amendments will be made in the tax code will be done after consultations with all stakeholders.

They will try to find a win-win solution as the city also needs funds, especially for the delivery of basic and social services to the people, he said.

Familiaran recalled that when Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya was acting mayor, he implemented the old tax rate since the new tax code had been declared null and void by the courts.

He said Leonardia has also requested for the repeal of the ordinance naming or renaming the government center to People's House.


The new tax ordinance was approved and implemented in Nov. 2014 under former Mayor Monico Puentevella but was declared "null and void" by the courts as well as the Justice Department.

In his July 5 letter to Familiaran, presiding officer of the SP, Leonardia said he is endorsing the tax ordinance to the Sanggunian for appropriate repeal, as it had also declared "null and void" by the Department of Justice on February 18, 2015.

The DOJ said the city government failed to comply with the prescribed procedure on the enactment of new ordinances under the Local Government Code.

In its subsequent resolution dated April 7, 2015, the DOJ also denied the motion for reconsideration of Puentevella on the case filed against him by Proxima Centauri Realty and Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation.

Leonardia added that when he still congressman last year, he also filed a petition Civil Case No. 15-14447 against the Puentevella administration to declare the tax ordinance "unconstitutional" for not having followed the constitutional due process, and for being "substantially oppressive, unjust, inequitable, and confiscatory."

The mayor said the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 in Bacolod has likewise considered the view of the DOJ, rendering the petition moot and academic, and his prompt withdrawal of the petition in order to the "pave the way for the formulation of the new City Tax Ordinance that will be just, equitable, fair, pro-people, and business-friendly under the environment of progress and sustainability."

A separate civil case was filed by the Chamber of Real Estate Builder's Association and Subdivision Housing Developers Association - Negros Occidental chapters against the City of Bacolod over the new Real Property Tax Code.

“It is ironic that Puentevella who had opposed the Revenue Code increases during our time as mayor, sponsored this unconstitutional RPT which unfairly raised land valuation and the taxes due them,” Leonardia said.


Meanwhile, Councilor Caesar Distrito, said earlier that he will author an ordinance that will repeal the previous ordinance that named the government center as People's House.

Distrito said the law requires that the change of name of a government building needs a unanimous vote of the SP. When the name of the NGC was changed to People's House, the vote was not unanimous, therefore the ordinance was invalid.

To remedy the situation, they will repeal the ordinance and revert the name of the building to its original name, which is the Bacolod City Government Center, he said.

On the other hand, Familiaran said that on the part of the SP, the election is over and he believes they are all reasonable public servants who will be willing to support whatever legislative measures needed by Leonardia, as well as his programs that will be good for the city.


Familiaran said the presence of MKK Councilors Sonya Verdeflor and Ana Marie Palermo at the inauguration of the new set of city officials Wednesday was a sign of reconciliation and a message to the public that they are ready to serve the entire populace of Bacolod.

The mayor mentioned in his inaugural speech that it is time to unite and work as one for the progress of Bacolod City, he said.*CGS




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