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House gives final OK to real property valuation bill

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading the measure seeking to introduce reforms in real property valuation in the country, comprising the third package of the government’s comprehensive tax reform program.

With a vote of 224 in the affirmative, seven in the negative, and one abstention, the chamber approved House Bill 4664, otherwise known as the proposed "Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act."

The measure aims to improve the government’s real property valuation by adopting a market-based Schedule of Market Values which will be used as the basis for real property taxes both in the local and national level.

It also aims to reorganize and strengthen the Bureau of Local Government Finance to provide support and accountability in carrying out the reform.

Nueva Ecija Representative Estrellita Suansing said the proposed measure "will assist the LGUs in maximizing revenue collections, which in turn, will promote genuine local autonomy."

For his part, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, who voted in favor of the measure, said the bill will protect residential lot owners as well as real estate owners in calamity-hit areas.

"Since generally ownership of residential lots is considered a dead investment, residential lot owners are protected from any undue increase in the schedule of market values which would escalate the tax rate by recognizing the power of local government units to reduce the consequential tax rates for residential lots without any limitation as to their location and size," he said.

The measure will be sent to the Senate for its deliberation and approval. —LDF, GMA News