Cebu City dad hopes for RPT consensus

Cebu City map.
Cebu City map.

A CEBU City lawmaker is hoping that the executive and legislative departments will reach a consensus during their bicameral meeting for the proposed revision of the Real Property Tax (RPT) Code.

Councilor Noel Wenceslao said in a phone interview on Saturday, March 30, 2024, that the meeting will take place on Thursday, April 4.

“I don’t know if the majority of the council will support this [proposed ordinance],” said Wenceslao, chairman of the committee on budget and finance.

Councilor Nestor Archival Sr. publicly opposed the proposed revised RPT Code on March 18, emphasizing the need to avoid placing additional burdens on businesses and the public.

Wenceslao this will be the first bicameral meeting between the two departments regarding the proposed ordinance revising the RPT Code.

Wenceslao believed that the two departments will look into the new valuation of properties, as it will

impact taxation.

Before the bicameral meeting, Wenceslao said the council had tentatively scheduled the second reading for the proposed ordinance on Wednesday, April 3. However, he was unsure if it had been added to the agenda.

Wenceslao said he might move to defer the deliberation, considering the bicameral meeting scheduled for the following day.

Not doable

Mayor Michael Rama has repeatedly urged the passage of the new RPT code by March, stating that the City can formulate regulations for its implementation later.

However, Wenceslao previously said it would be impossible to pass the ordinance within that timeframe.

The council last met on March 20. There was a special online session last Wednesday, March 27, but it was only for the deliberation of the proposed P96.94 million budget for the mitigation of the effects of weather phenomenon El Niño in the city.

Wenceslao anticipates that there will be no further public hearings before the third and final reading of the proposed ordinance.

Last March 20, Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia questioned the timeliness of implementing the RPT, noting that many taxpayers are still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and Typhoon Odette (Rai), which struck Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas on Dec. 16, 2021.

Former mayor Tomas Osmeña also said the City will not face a budget deficit without adjusting the fair market values, asserting that the current tax collection system is still effective.

The Cebu City Government has not updated its fair market values in 21 years, the last revision being implemented in 2002.

The Local Government Code of 1991 mandates local government units to revise real property assessments for RPT every three years. / AML

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