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Lung Center of the Philippines vs. Quezon City [GR No.

144104 June 29, 2004]


Facts: Lung Center of the Philippines is a non-stock and non-profit entity established by virtue of PD No. 1823. It is the registered owner of the land on which the Lung Center of the Philippines Hospital is erected. A big space in the ground floor of the hospital is being leased to private parties, for canteen and small store spaces, and to medical or professional practitioners who use the same as their private clinics. Also, a big portion on the right side of the hospital is being leased for commercial purposes to a private enterprise known as the Elliptical Orchids and Garden Center. When the City Assessor of Quezon City assessed both its land and hospital building for real property taxes, the Lung Center of the Philippines filed a claim for exemption on its averment that it is a charitable institution with a minimum of 60% of its hospital beds exclusively used for charity patients and that the major thrust of its hospital operation is to serve charity patients. The claim for exemption was denied, prompting a petition for the reversal of the resolution of the City Assessor with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals of Quezon City, which denied the same. On appeal, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals of Quezon City affirmed the local boards decision, finding that Lung Center of the Philippines is not a charitable institution and that its properties were not actually, directly and exclusively used for charitable purposes. Hence, the present petition for review with averments that the Lung Center of the Philippines is a charitable institution under Section 28(3), Article VI of the Constitution, notwithstanding that it accepts paying patients and rents out portions of the hospital building to private individuals and enterprises.

However, under the Constitution, in order to be entitled to exemption from real property tax, there must be clear and unequivocal proof that (1) it is a charitable institution and (2)its real properties are ACTUALLY, DIRECTLY and EXCLUSIVELY used for charitable purposes. While portions of the hospital are used for treatment of patients and the dispensation of medical services to them, whether paying or nonpaying, other portions thereof are being leased to private individuals and enterprises.

Exclusive is defined as possessed and enjoyed to the exclusion of others, debarred from participation or enjoyment. If real property is used for one or more commercial purposes, it is not exclusively used for the exempted purposes but is subject to taxation.

Manila International Airport Authority vs CAGR No. 155650, July 20, 2006, 495 SCRA 591 Facts: Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is the operator of the Ninoy International Airport located at Paranaque City. The Officers of Paranaque City sent notices to MIAA due to real estate tax delinquency. MIAA then settled some of the amount. When MIAA failed to settle the entire amount, the officers of Paranaque city threatened to levy and subject to auction the land and buildings of MIAA, which they did. MIAA sought for a Temporary Restraining Order from the CA but failed to do so within the 60 days reglementary period, so the petition was dismissed. MIAA then sought for the TRO with the Supreme Court a day before the public auction, MIAA was granted with the TRO but unfortunately the TRO was received by the Paranaque City officers 3 hours after the public auction. MIAA claims that although the charter provides that the title of the land and building are with MIAA still the ownership is with the Republic of the Philippines. MIAA also contends that it is an instrumentality of the government and as such exempted from real estate tax. That the land and buildings of MIAA are of public dominion therefore cannot be subjected to levy and auction sale. On the other hand, the officers of Paranaque City claim that MIAA is a government owned and controlled corporation therefore not exempted to real estate tax. MIAAs contention: Airport Lands and Buildings are owned by the Republic. The government cannot tax itself. The reason for tax exemption of public property is that its taxation would not inure to any public advantage, since in such a case the tax debtor is also the tax creditor. Issue: WON Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are exempt from real estate tax under existing laws? Yes. Ergo, the real estate tax assessments issued by the City of Paraaque, and all proceedings taken pursuant to such assessments, are void.

Issue: Is the Lung Center of the Philippines a charitable institution within the context of the Constitution, and therefore, exempt from real property tax?

Held: The Lung Center of the Philippines is a charitable institution. To determine whether an enterprise is a charitable institution or not, the elements which should be considered include the statute creating the enterprise, its corporate purposes, its constitution and by-laws, the methods of administration, the nature of the actual work performed, that character of the services rendered, the indefiniteness of the beneficiaries and the use and occupation of the properties.

Held: 1. MIAA is Not a Government-Owned or Controlled Corporation

MIAA is not a government-owned or controlled corporation but an instrumentality of the National Government and thus exempt from local taxation. MIAA is not a stock corporation because it has no capital stock divided into shares. MIAA has no stockholders or voting shares. MIAA is also not a non-stock corporation because it has no members. A non-stock corporation must have members. MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate powers to perform efficiently its governmental functions. MIAA is like any other government instrumentality, the only difference is that MIAA is vested with corporate powers. When the law vests in a government instrumentality corporate powers, the instrumentality does not become a corporation. Unless the government instrumentality is organized as a stock or non-stock corporation, it remains a government instrumentality exercising not only governmental but also corporate powers. Thus, MIAA exercises the governmental powers of eminent domain, police authority and the levying of fees and charges. At the same time, MIAA exercises all the powers of a corporation under the Corporation Law, insofar as these powers are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Executive Order. 2. a. Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are Owned by the Republic Airport Lands and Buildings are of Public Dominion

The charging of fees to the public does not determine the character of the property whether it is of public dominion or not. Article 420 of the Civil Code defines property of public dominion as one intended for public use. The terminal fees MIAA charges to passengers, as well as the landing fees MIAA charges to airlines, constitute the bulk of the income that maintains the operations of MIAA. The collection of such fees does not change the character of MIAA as an airport for public use. Such fees are often termed users tax. This means taxing those among the public who actually use a public facility instead of taxing all the public including those who never use the particular public facility. b. Airport Lands and Buildings are Outside the Commerce of Man

The Court has also ruled that property of public dominion, being outside the commerce of man, cannot be the subject of an auction sale. Properties of public dominion, being for public use, are not subject to levy, encumbrance or disposition through public or private sale. Any encumbrance, levy on execution or auction sale of any property of public dominion is void for being contrary to public policy. Essential public services will stop if properties of public dominion are subject to encumbrances, foreclosures and auction sale. This will happen if the City of Paraaque can foreclose and compel the auction sale of the 600-hectare runway of the MIAA for non-payment of real estate tax. c. MIAA is a Mere Trustee of the Republic

The Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are property of public dominion and therefore owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines. No one can dispute that properties of public dominion mentioned in Article 420 of the Civil Code, like roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, are owned by the State. The term ports includes seaports and airports. The MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings constitute a port constructed by the State. Under Article 420 of the Civil Code, the MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings are properties of public dominion and thus owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines. The Airport Lands and Buildings are devoted to public use because they are used by the public for international and domestic travel and transportation. The fact that the MIAA collects terminal fees and other charges from the public does not remove the character of the Airport Lands and Buildings as properties for public use.

MIAA is merely holding title to the Airport Lands and Buildings in trust for the Republic. Section 48, Chapter 12, Book I of the Administrative Code allows instrumentalities like MIAA to hold title to real properties owned by the Republic. n MIAAs case, its status as a mere trustee of the Airport Lands and Buildings is clearer because even its executive head cannot sign the deed of conveyance on behalf of the Republic. Only the President of the Republic can sign such deed of conveyance. d. Transfer to MIAA was Meant to Implement a Reorganization

The transfer of the Airport Lands and Buildings from the Bureau of Air Transportation to MIAA was not meant to transfer beneficial ownership of these assets from the Republic to MIAA. The purpose was merely to reorganize a division in the Bureau of Air Transportation into a separate and autonomous body. The Republic remains the beneficial owner of the Airport Lands and Buildings. MIAA itself is owned solely by the Republic. No party claims any ownership rights over MIAAs assets adverse to the Republic. e. Real Property Owned by the Republic is Not Taxable

Sec 234 of the LGC provides that real property owned by the Republic of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions except when the beneficial use thereof has been granted, for

consideration or otherwise, to a taxable person following are exempted from payment of the real property tax. However, portions of the Airport Lands and Buildings that MIAA leases to private entities are not exempt from real estate tax. For example, the land area occupied by hangars that MIAA leases to private corporations is subject to real estate tax. Mactan Cebu (MCIAA) vs. Marcos GR 120082 September 11, 1996 261 SCRA 667 FACTS: Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) was created to principally undertake to economical, efficient and effective control, management and supervision of the Mactan International Airport and such other airports as may be established in the province of Cebu Section 14 of its charter exempts the Authority from payment of realty taxes but in 1994, the City Treasurer demanded payment for realty taxes on several parcels of land belonging to the other. MCIAA filed a petition in RTC contending that, by nature of its powers and functions, it has the same footing of an agency or instrumentality of the national government. The RTC dismissed the petition based on Section 193 & 234 of the local Government Code or R.A. 7160. Thus this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the MCIAA is exempted from realty taxes? RULING: With the repealing clause of RA 7160 the tax exemption provided. All general and special in the charter of the MCIAA has been expressly repealed. It state laws, acts, City Charters, decrees, executive orders, proclamations and administrative regulations, or part of parts thereof which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. Therefore the SC affirmed the decision and order of the RTC and herein petitioner has to pay the assessed realty tax of its properties effective January 1, 1992 up to the present.