SC rejects QC garbage fee collection, orders refund
But the High Court upholds another city ordinance, the Socialized Housing Tax

CITY TRASH. The Quezon City government spent around P775 million to collect garbage last 2013. File photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday, June 30, rejected Quezon City’s (QC) garbage fee tax and ordered a refund of fees the local government collected before the 2013 ordinance was temporarily stopped in 2014.

The SC Public Information Office (SC PIO) also said in its official Twitter account that the High Court upheld the city’s Socialized Housing Tax – an ordinance that is expected to generate up to P185 million every year. The revenue will be used to help implement a housing program for the city’s poor. 

“SC upholds QC Socialized Housing Tax but rejects QC Garbage Fee Tax, orders refund,” the SC PIO said in its official Twitter account.

The decision comes more than a year after the High Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the implementation of Ordinance No. 2235, which exacts a garbage fee of P100 to P500 a year from households and penalizes those who refuse to pay. 

Before the ordinance, only business establishments had to pay a garbage fee.

“The amount of fees expected to be collected from households are much less than the actual expense it takes to collect the garbage; total expected revenues from this new Ordinance has been computed at P52.41 million ($1.16 million)*,” the ordinance read.

Garbage collection is the biggest expense item of the QC government. In 2013, the cost was P1.144 billion ($25.37 million), and the local government had to shoulder P1.037 billion ($23 million) since fees collected from business establishments amounted to only P107 million ($2.37 million). –

*US$1 = P45.1

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