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Manila Standard Today - Lawmaker wants to curb LGUs’ power to fix real estate prices

In The News
5 November 2011

By Rey T. Salita | Manila Standard Today

Featured-image-Manila-Standard-TodaySENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has proposed a national land valuation system to curb the discretionary powers of local executives in dictating real estate prices.

There are 23 agencies and almost 1,300 local government units, along with private appraisers performing land valuation using different methods and standards riddling the real property sector with conflicting and inconsistent real property values, Marcos said.

Such a condition has prevented the government, both at the local and the national levels, from tapping the potential of the land sector, and resulting in foregone revenues from real property taxes, he said.

“Considered as the main source of locally sourced revenue, the outdated Schedule of Market Values, averaging from 10 to 12 years old, greatly narrowed the LGUs’ real property tax base while increasing inequity in real property taxation,” he said.

Marcos said since most of LGU values no longer reflect the true conditions of the property market, the country’s valuation system has acted as a disincentive for private investors to take a more vibrant role in economic development.

“In the same vein, many government-led projects and investments have been delayed due to just compensation issues and lengthy court litigations,” he said.

Marcos also proposed to strengthen and reorganize the Bureau of Local Government Finance, under the Department of Finance, to assume institutional responsibilities for the proposed reforms.

Based on a World Bank study, real property prices in the country are diverse owing to factors such as location, type, and features of the property. On an aggregate level, the mix of real estate transactions by type has a bearing on the total price.