Manila – The Department of Finance (DOF) Fiscal Policy and Monitoring Group (FPMG) Undersecretary Maria Cielo D. Magno and Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) OIC Executive Director Ma. Pamela P. Quizon pushed anew the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform (RPVAR) bill, the 3rd package of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), at the 2nd hybrid public hearing of the Senate Committees on Ways and Means and Local Government and Finance, held on 09 March 2023, at the Senate of the Philippines and streamed live via Youtube.

In the said hearing, OIC Executive Director Quizon, presented the salient features of the proposed bill.

“The RPVAR would like to propose to get away with multiple valuation bases and have a single valuation base for taxation purposes and a benchmark for other purposes (e.g., Right of way (ROW) acquisition, lease, rental). We want to get away from outdated values because RPVAR will have a regular updating, and we are taking away the unreliable and non-transparent valuation by setting up a comprehensive electronic database because now, we will have reliable and transparent valuation reference values because of this database”, Quizon explained.

In addition, Undersecretary Magno, underscored the importance of educating the taxpayers on real property valuation.

“In practice, residents would tend to focus on the valuation of their property to lower their tax liability. But this time, it will shift because now your evaluation of your property will, in fact, give you a correct indicator on how your asset is growing”, Undersecretary Magno explained.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the chairperson of the Committee on Ways and Means, emphasized the need to explain the benefits of the RPVAR bill to answer the public’s misconceptions. Gatchalian also expressed full support to the proposed bill’s automation of the valuation and assessment processes of local government units (LGUs) as these are aligned with the Marcos administration’s digitalization direction.

“Let us use this law as an opportunity to automate [the processes of LGUs]. I think the direction of the administration is digitalization”, Gatchalian said.

The Local Governance Reform Project (LGRP), a four-year project loan funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), supports the Government of the Philippines in improving the real property tax administration and management at the local level, through a four-pronged approach: (i) supporting institutional development and policy formulation for property valuation; (ii)  implementing a property tax valuation database and information systems; (iii) enhancing the real property tax administration for selected LGUs; and (iv) professionalizing the local assessors and strengthening the capacity of LGUs.