Iloilo CARP beneficiaries owe over P400M in real property taxes

AGRARIAN Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) of Barangay Pasig in Sara, Iloilo listen to DAR officials during their installation on Dec 19, 2018. (DAR-Iloilo photo)

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Iloilo Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO) still has to collect more than P400 million in Real Property Taxes (RPT) from properties covered by the agrarian reform program.

Fatima R. Bayona of the PTO revealed the figure in a round table discussion on the payment of Real Property Tax (RPT) on agrarian reform covered-landholdings at Regatta Hotel, General Luna St., Iloilo City last June 26, 2019.

The discussion was initiated by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-Iloilo to mark the 31st anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), according to a news release from DAR-Iloilo.

Bayona said RPT delinquencies of agrarian reform covered properties in Iloilo as of April 2019 are more or less P434 million.

The figure does not include data from eight municipalities that have yet to submit their RPT collection reports.

What are the common concerns that affect RPT collection from CARP-covered properties?

One common issue is that many of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) issued to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) are still collective in nature instead of individual.

Also, some ARBs have yet to be installed or others are not anymore in possession of the lands as they either sold or mortgaged their awards.

In some cases, some are already in possession but were not yet issued individual tax declarations.

According to Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Lucrecia S. Taberna, the recent guidelines on the parcelization or division of collective CLOAs will address the problem and improve RPT collection from ARBs.

Taberna said she will reach out to the Office of the Provincial Assessor to hasten the issuance of the individual tax declarations to affected ARBs.

Other issues discussed in the gathering were payment of Estate and Real Property Taxes on Agrarian Reform covered lands and the rights and obligations of ARBs, including the payment of RPT and land amortization with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The outcome of the discussion will be the basis of policy recommendations to be initiated by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM)-Iloilo.