MANILA CITY – Capping off its 35th founding anniversary, the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) conducted a Seminar on the Comparative Analysis of Property Tax in Selected Southeast Asian Countries last 25 October 2022, at the Century Park Hotel, Manila City.

Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Executive Director Ma. Pamela P. Quizon, in an opening message, emphasized that real property is considered as the most important revenue source and biggest financial asset of a country’s wealth and explained the several reasons for real property to only average at 28% of the local government units (LGUs)’ locally sourced revenues.

“There are several reasons for the low contribution of RPT in the own-source revenues of LGUs: the hardly realized full implementation of the requirement of the Local Government Code (LGC) to regularly conduct the general revision of the Schedule of Market Values (SMV) and property assessments every three (3) years, and the limited property values or digitalize records of property data caused by traditional manual approach, OIC Executive Director Quizon said.

She added that the BLGF will continue to advocate for the passage of the proposed Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform (RPVAR) bill in the 19th Congress and implement the Local Governance Reform Project (LGRP) to strengthen the capacity of LGUs through improvements on the policy and administrative environment in increasing the locally sourced revenues.

In a keynote message, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno recognized the LGUs’ quick foresight on the potential of digital transactions in enhancing RPT tax collections.

We strongly encourage local treasurers to establish connections with the authorized government depository banks that provide online payment services. It is also encouraged that local assessors digitalize assessment procedures, as well as their records, for faster and efficient transactions within respective offices”, Secretary Diokno said.

Secretary Diokno expressed confidence that the BLGF and Professor William J. McCluskey of the University of Pretoria, with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will exhibit the best tax administration practices in Southeast Asia and the new technologies for LGUs to be enlightened on the prospects of the RPT and valuation reforms.

Professor McCluskey discussed the importance of reforms in property tax, updating of SMVs, and the need to harmonize all assessment processes into one system, through the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System (CAMA) and other new trends and techniques, and applications of CAMA in the mass valuation processes of Korea and Japan.

“There are three questions to be addressed: Why was RPT considered the most important tax? Is there likely to be more space for property taxation in the next decade? And what reforms are needed most to increase revenue performance?”, McCluskey said.

Governor Dakila Carlo E. Cua of Quirino Province, Vice Chair Lady Imelda C. Magtoto of National Real Estate Association, Inc., Regional Director Jessie B. Doctolero of BLGF Regional Office No. VII, Professor Cesar Z. Luna of UP Open University, and Assistant Vice President Generoso S. David of Land Bank of the Philippines served as reactors in the said seminar.