THE Bohol Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 47 has declared null and void the Revenue Code of 1996 of the Municipality of Tubigon, which imposed a municipal service fee on cargoes from and for Cebu City.
The local law ran counter to Section 133 (e) of the Local Government Code (LGC), said Judge Sugeso Arcamo.
The court gave weight to the position of petitioners Cebu Movers System Inc. and Big Boy Trucking Corp. that Tubigon cannot impose fees for moving cargo shipment for and from Cebu City, because no service is rendered.
The petitioners filed separate civil cases to nullify Section 5P.01, which Arcamo jointly resolved.
The petitioners said the town could not justify the imposition of the municipal service fee under Section 155 of the LGC, which allows a local government unit (LGU) to impose toll or charges for the use of the port only if the LGU had built it.
The Philippine Ports Authority, a national government agency, funded the construction of the port in Tubigon.
However, the Tubigon Municipal Government said it is empowered by the Constitution and the LGC of 1991 to create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes, fees and charges, which shall exclusively accrue for its use and disposition.
It said the Municipal Council is authorized to pass ordinances that regulate the exercise of any business or profession.
In its decision, the judge said a “cursory reading” of the business taxes municipal corporations can impose, under Section 143 of the LGC, shows the list does not include taxes, fees or charges on inter-province transport of goods and other articles.
In a letter to Tubigon Mayor Luna Clarin Piezas dated last Jan. 7, lawyer Joselito Lopez demanded compliance with the writ of injunction to stop collection of the fees from all port users.