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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, May 16, 2009
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Bill seeks to reform
property valuation


Senator Panfilo Lacson yesterday said his proposed bill instituting reforms in the country’s real property valuation and assessment will benefit land owners and local governments.

Lacson yesterday held a public hearing on his proposed Senate Bill 1645, or the Valuation Reform Act of 2009, at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.

“We want to have just one standard in the valuation of real properties,” he said.

It will be beneficial to local governments because when there is one standard in land valuation it will increase the value of properties and more taxes can be collected, Lacson said.

It will also benefit the landowners, because sometimes they fall victim to unscrupulous real estate brokers and agents, he added.

“If we are properly informed of the value of our properties all over the country then we know how much to sell them for,” he said.

The VRA seeks to reform the country’s real property valuation system that has constrained the economic development, reduced the opportunities for the poor, and discouraged sustainable management of land, a primer distributed by Lacson’s staff said.

It is estimated that 50 to 75 percent of the nation’s wealth is constrained in real estate, making it the biggest potential source of national income to fund social and economic programs, it said.

But, in the Philippines, real estate’s contribution to the GNP has remained at a meager 6.3 percent in the past 10 years, the primer added.

“The real property valuation system is ineffective and inequitable. It does not provide landowners and buyers the true valuation of properties on which to make confident decisions for disposition, acquisition or investments,” it said.

The VRA will establish valuation standards and guidelines for real property valuation in the country benchmarked with international standards, Lacson said.

To institutionalize such reform, a National Valuation Authority will be established with the Property Valuation Staff of the Department of Finance as the nucleus, he added.

Meanwhile, Lacson also said he and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile have authored a bill on fixed franchised tax of 3 percent on power, from 12 percent.

It will have a big impact on power consumers, he said.

He added that there is also a pending bill aimed at standardizing the imposition of taxes on water districts.*CPG




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