February 6, 2023

The city council has reached out to the officials of the Municipality of Tuba to thresh out matters regarding the properties located within the jurisdiction of the city but are declared or registered under the Municipality of Tuba.

During the council’s regular session on September 28, Noel Tomin, Municipal Assessor of Tuba, confirmed that several parcels of land situated within the city are declared under their municipality.

Tomin said these properties supposedly registered under the City Government of Baguio have been in their records for a long time.

The municipal assessor said the matter could be addressed by encouraging the concerned individuals to process the transfer of their tax declarations from the municipality to the city.

As a requirement, the applicant will request for a Certificate of No Adverse Claim from the Province of Benguet. The Municipal Assessor’s Office will then issue a Certificate of No Objection after the applicant has submitted a lot plan which will verify that the lot being transferred is really within the territorial jurisdiction of Baguio.

“Around 40 to 50 tax declarations have already been transferred from Tuba to Baguio through this process,” Tomin added.

The city council, however, found the process disadvantageous on the part of applicants as it entails commissioning a surveyor for the preparation of a lot plan.

“If you ask individual persons to do this, you will require a surveyor and an additional cost when it may be very clear that they are not within the territory of Tuba,” Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda said.

Councilor Benny Bomogao pointed out the additional cost would hinder the concerned individuals to voluntarily transfer their tax declarations.

Bomogao and Tabanda proposed that the assessor’s offices of both local government units shall settle the transfer of tax declarations through an inter-office process in order that the concerned individuals would no longer need to apply for the transfer of the registration of their properties from the municipality to the city.

Tuba Councilor George Fucai, however, said legal steps have to be taken into account so that there shall be no legal repercussions on the part of the municipality or the Municipal Assessor’s Office.

Councilor Fred Bagbagen proposed the creation of a task force consisting of the legal offices and the assessor’s offices of both LGUs to work on the legality of the possible inter-office process for the transfer of the tax declarations.

The city council requested Municipal Assessor Officer Tomin to furnish them a list of individual tax declarations of properties located within the territorial jurisdiction of the city to be used by the council for future legislative action.

The city councilors have previously expressed concern on the issue on lands located along the boundary of the city adjacent to several municipalities of Benguet including Tuba.

The city is not collecting the appropriate real property taxes supposedly derived from these properties as they are not declared/registered under the city government, the council claimed.

Once transferred, the concerned individuals’ real property taxes will increase as the tax rates of the city are higher compared to that of the municipality. – Jordan G. Habbiling