was denied, and a petition was, thereafter, filed before the Local Board of AssessmentAppeals of Quezon City (QC-LBAA, for brevity) for the reversal of the resolution of the CityAssessor. The petitioner alleged that under Section 28, paragraph 3 of the 1987Constitution, the property is exempt from real property taxes. It averred that a minimum of 60% of its hospital beds are exclusively used for charity patients and that the major thrustof its hospital operation is to serve charity patients. The petitioner contends that it is acharitable institution and, as such, is exempt from real property taxes. The QC-LBAArendered judgment dismissing the petition and holding the petitioner liable for real propertytaxes.
The QC-LBAA’s decision was, likewise, affirmed on appeal by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals of Quezon City (CBAA, for brevity)
which ruled that the petitioner was not a charitable institution and that its real properties were not actually, directly andexclusively used for charitable purposes; hence, it was not entitled to real property taxexemption under the constitution and the law. The petitioner sought relief from the Court of Appeals, which rendered judgment affirming the decision of the CBAA.
Undaunted, the petitioner filed its petition in this Court contending that:A. THE COURT
ERRED IN DECLARING PETITIONER AS NOTENTITLED TO REALTY TAX EXEMPTIONS ON THE GROUND THAT ITS LAND,BUILDING AND IMPROVEMENTS, SUBJECT OF ASSESSMENT, ARE NOTACTUALLY, DIRECTLY AND EXCLUSIVELY DEVOTED FOR CHARITABLEPURPOSES.B. WHILE PETITIONER IS NOT DECLARED AS REAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTUNDER ITS CHARTER, PD 1823, SAID EXEMPTION MAY NEVERTHELESS BEEXTENDED UPON PROPER APPLICATION.The petitioner avers that it is a charitable institution within the context of Section 28(3),Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. It asserts that its character as a charitable institution isnot altered by the fact that it admits paying patients and renders medical services to them,leases portions of the land to private parties, and rents out portions of the hospital toprivate medical practitioners from which it derives income to be used for operationalexpenses. The petitioner points out that for the years 1995 to 1999, 100% of its out-patients were charity patients and of the hospital’s 282-bed capacity, 60% thereof, or 170beds, is allotted to charity patients. It asserts that the fact that it receives subsidies from thegovernment attests to its character as a charitable institution. It contends that the"exclusivity" required in the Constitution does not necessarily mean "solely." Hence, even if a portion of its real estate is leased out to private individuals from whom it derives income,it does not lose its character as a charitable institution, and its exemption from the paymentof real estate taxes on its real property. The petitioner cited our ruling in
Herrera v. QC-BAA
to bolster its pose. The petitioner further contends that even if P.D. No. 1823 doesnot exempt it from the payment of real estate taxes, it is not precluded from seeking taxexemption under the 1987 Constitution.In their comment on the petition, the respondents aver that the petitioner is not a charitableentity. The petitioner’s real property is not exempt from the payment of real estate taxesunder P.D. No. 1823 and even under the 1987 Constitution because it failed to prove that itis a charitable institution and that the said property is actually, directly and exclusively usedfor charitable purposes. The respondents noted that in a newspaper report, it appears thatgraft charges were filed with the Sandiganbayan against the director of the petitioner, itsadministrative officer, and Zenaida Rivera, the proprietress of the Elliptical Orchids andGarden Center, for entering into a lease contract over 7,663.13 square meters of theproperty in 1990 for only P20,000 a month, when the monthly rental should be P357,000 amonth as determined by the Commission on Audit; and that instead of complying with the