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Real estate group fights Rizal town ordinances

12/14/2008 [ tribune.net.ph ]


A group of real estate firms has expressed opposition to the four municipal ordinances that were recently approved for implementation by the Sangguniang Bayan of the town of Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) in Rizal province for their allegedly being “illegal and unconstitutional.”


In a letter to Rodriguez Mayor Pedro Cuerpo, the Chamber of Real Estate Builders’ Association Inc. (Creba Inc.), represented by its national president, Reghis Romero, assailed the town government’s issuance of Ordinances 07-15, 07-16, 07-26 and 07-27 as they are “illegal and beyond the taxing power of the municipality,” and demanded their repeal and withdrawal.


The subject ordinances impose additional requirements for development permit applications.


Creba Inc. said since Ordinances 07-16 and 07-27 are revenue ordinances, the Sangguniang Bayan of Rodriguez failed to follow the procedural requirements under the Local Government Code.


“The Sangguniang Bayan, in its enactment, failed to conduct mandatory public hearings, to publish the said ordinances and did not furnish copies of the said ordinances (to those concerned),” Romero said.


He said the processing and approval of subdivision plans or development permits are regulatory in character and only reasonable processing fees and charges maybe collected.


Romero pointed out that Ordinance 07-26 “translates to an act of expropriation without payment of just compensation and/or an act of deprivation of property without due process of law.”


He also alleged the Sangguniang Bayan had failed to conform with pertinent laws in the processing and approval of subdivision plans or development permits.


The subject ordinances, Romero asserted, violate Presidential Decree 957 and Batas Pambansa Blg. 220.


“The four ordinances violate the principle of equal protection of the laws by singling out developers and buyers to bear the burden. These qualify as class legislation and violate the Constitution,” he said.


Creba Inc. warned Cuerpo and the Sangguniang Bayan of Rodriguez that their refusal or delay in complying with its demand may constrain it to initiate and pursue the filing of cases against them for gross ignorance of the law, violation of Republic Act 3019, or the the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and RA 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees.”


Cuerpo had recently been suspended by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Rizal after he continued to defy orders to stop the implementation of the municipal ordinances that call for the raising and collection of garbage fees from those who use the garbage dump in Rodriguez.


In two separate rulings, the Department of Justice had declared the said ordinances ”ultra vires” and said the local government had erred in exacting the fees as it had gone beyond its taxing powers.

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