Guv to assessors: Evaluate value of real properties

GOVERNOR Gwendolyn Garcia has ordered all municipal assessors in Cebu province to assess the value of real properties and their corresponding improvements within their areas of jurisdiction.

In her Executive Order (EO) 37, which was issued on Sept. 23 but released only on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, Garcia also mandated that once the assessment has been made, all municipal assessors must issue a tax declaration to the concerned owners and transferees of these properties.

“The municipal assessors shall issue tax declarations to the transferees thereof regardless of the land classification of the said property as part of timberlands, forest lands, wilderness areas, or no build zones only for the purposes of real property tax assessment,” the EO stated.

Garcia issued the order after noticing that the Provincial Government has not recorded some of the real properties and improvements in the province.

“It hasn’t also assessed the current and fair market values nor issued corresponding tax declarations due to their land classification,” she said in the EO.

Garcia cited the need to update and revise the current and fair market value of real properties in Cebu Province “in conformity with the provisions on real property tax assessments laid down in Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code.”

Section 5, Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 18 of the Local Government Code provide that each local government unit (LGU) shall have the power to create its own sources of revenues and to levy taxes, fees and charges consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy.

According to the Local Government Code, all real property within the territorial jurisdiction of the respective local government units, whether taxable or exempt, shall be appraised at the current and fair market value prevailing in the locality where the property is situated.

After winning the elections in 2019, Garcia had vowed to make one of her administration’s priorities the recovery of properties of Cebu Province, as well as the reappraisal of the market value of all province-owned real properties.

The reappraisal has contributed to the Province’s growing income so that in 2021, for the seventh consecutive time, Cebu was named the wealthiest province in terms of pure assets and net assets or equity.

A Commission on Audit’s 2020 report showed that Cebu posted a total of P213,005,750,000 in assets, which is P9.5 billion higher than the assets registered in 2019.