Agency favors Angeles village tax ordinance

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- The Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) said that Barangay Balibago may levy reasonable fees and charges on places of recreation that charge admission fees.

BLGF OIC-Executive Director Salvador del Castillo affirmed this in a reply letter to Balibago Chairman Rodelio "Tony" Mamac dated May 30, 2014.

On April 11, 2014, Mamac sent a letter to Department of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima requesting opinion on the legality of Barangay Ordinance Number 2 Series of 2014, "an ordinance enacting the imposition of barangay fees in places of recreation and amusement," which was passed by the Balibago Council on March 17, 2014.

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Mamac asked the Finance department if the barangay is vested with the power to impose fees and charges as gleaned in the ordinance which was disapproved by the City Council.

The City Council, through Resolution Number 6920 Series of 2014, denied the barangay ordinance declaring it as contrary to law and beyond the village council's taxing powers.

The BLGF stated that the Local Government Code provides specific for taxing powers conferred upon the different levels of the local governments such as provinces, cities, towns and barangays.

Castillo cited Section 152 Scope of Taxing Powers, the barangay may levy taxes, fees and charges as provided for in this Article, which shall exclusively accrue to them.

Based on Section 153 Letter D of the LGC, it is clear that Barangay Balibago may levy reasonable fees and charges on places of recreation which charge admission fees within its jurisdiction provided, however, that such tax measure or ordinance was enacted pursuant to and accordance with Sections 187 and 188 of the code, according to the BLGF official.

In enacting and implementing such fees and charges, Barangay Balibago may be guided by the provision of Articles 233 and 244 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations implementing Sections 147 and 153 respectively, Castillo said.

These provide similar worded provisions, which read "no such fees or charges shall be based on capital investments or gross sales or receipts of the person or business liable therefore," the BLGF executive added.

On July 17, 2014, Mamac sent the City Council a letter citing the legal opinion of the BLGF.

Mamac stated in his letter that "the City Council erred and committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing Resolution Number 6920 Series of 2014, pursuant to Section 52 (d) and Section 57 (c) of the Local Government Code.

The village chief claimed that the SP members failed to observe procedures provided for under these two sections.

Section 52 (d) of the code provides that in the case of special sessions of the sanggunian, a written notice to the members shall be served personally at the member's usual place of residence at least 24 hours before the special session is held.

Section 57, on the other hand, states that "if the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan, as the case may be, finds the barangay ordinances inconsistent with law or city or municipal ordinances, the sanggunian concerned shall, within 30 days from receipt thereof, return the same with its comments and recommendations to the sangguniang barangay concerned for adjustment, amendment, or modification; in which case, the effectivity of the barangay ordinance is suspended until such time as the revision called for is effected."

Mamac also said that the barangay ordinance is valid and consistent to law, ordinance, and within the prescribed power of the barangay council pursuant to several provisions of the Local Government Code.

He cited Sections 391 in relation to Section 152 (d) pursuant to Section 132 and Section 186 of the code.

Based on these LGC provision, Mamac said that the sangguniang barangay is allowed to exercise its power to enact ordinances and create its own sources of revenues.

The barangay official also cited Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular Number 2009-42 dated March 27, 2009 which states that the imposition of fees on places of recreation is authorized.

Aside from these, Mamac claimed that the barangay council conducted a series of public hearings before passing Barangay Ordinance Number 2.

"We are determined to implement the ordinance having fulfilled all the required legal basis and for the reason that it will benefit the people of Balibago, particularly the institutionalization of its college scholarship program," Mamac said.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 21, 2014.

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