SC clears the way for 500% hike in property valuation in Quezon City
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the petition by a homeowners association, which questioned the constitutionality of a Quezon City ordinance increasing by as much as 500% the fair market values (FMVs) of land and structures in the city.
With the unanimous vote to dismiss the petition of the Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners' Association Incorporated (AQCHI), the SC clears the way for the implementation of Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-2556 passed in 2016.
It also effectively lifts the temporary restraining order issued on April 18, 2017, on the implementation of the ordinance.
In the 13-page decision, penned by Associate Justice Justice Estela Perlas Bernabe, the SC cited the AQCHI’s “lack of legal capacity to sue” in dismissing the latter’s petition.
AQCHI’s Certificate of Registration had apparently been revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it had also failed to register with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board.
“Thus, the resolution of the issues anent the validity and constitutionality of Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-2556, Series of 2016, while indeed of great public interest and of transcendental importance, must nonetheless await the filing of the proper case by the proper party,” the decision read.
The AQCHI had alleged the up to 500% increase in FMVs was arbitrary because the 2016 ordinance did not indicate any explanation on how the city assessors arrived at the amounts.
The group did not oppose an increase in property valuation, but only insisted that it be reduced and implemented on a staggered basis.
It also claimed there was only one public consultation done before the ordinance was passed.
The Quezon City government justified the increase, saying that the last time the FMVs of properties were increased was in 1995. Even then, the increases indicated in the new ordinance were still lower than FMVs in other cities in Metro Manila.
In the 2016 ordinance, the city government also tempered the FMV increase by reducing the assessment levels, thus:
- Residential properties - from 18% to 5%
- Commercial and industrial properties - from 45% to 14%
The city government said it conducted 29 public consultations through barangay assemblies in all 6 districts before the ordinance was approved.
On Thursday, October 25, the Quezon City government expressed its gratitude to the Supreme Court for its decision.
City Administrator Aldrin Cuña said the QC Fair Market Values Ordinance “complied with all the requirements on formal and substantive requisites.” He was speaking on behalf of Mayor Herbert Bautista, who was on official mission to Germany.
Cuña said the city government can start implementing the ordinance 15 working days after the petition against it was dismissed by the SC. – Rappler.com