PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed an executive order (EO) lowering the real property taxes (RPTs), interests, and penalties on the property, machinery, and equipment of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) operating under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) agreement.
EO 36, inked by Marcos on July 25 and made public on Friday, reduces and condones real property taxes and penalties assessed on power generation facilities of IPPs under BOT contracts with government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Under Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, the President “may, when public interest requires, condone or reduce the real property tax and interest for any year in any province, city, or municipality within the Metropolitan Manila area.”
In his order, Marcos said that the reduction and condonation cover all liabilities for real property tax, including any special levies accruing to the Special Education Fund for 2023, on property, machinery, and equipment actually and directly used by IPPs for the production of electricity under a BOT scheme and similar contracts.
The order also covers similar contracts under Power Purchase Agreements, Energy Conversion Agreements, or other contractual agreements with GOCCs that were assessed by local government units (LGUs) and other entities authorized to impose real property tax for all years up to 2023.
All liabilities for real property tax “are hereby reduced to an amount equivalent to the tax due if computed based on an assessment level of 15 percent of the fair market value of the said property, machinery, and equipment depreciated at the rate of 2 percent per annum, less any amounts already paid by the IPPs,” the President said.
All interests and penalties on such deficiency real property tax liabilities are condoned and concerned IPPs are relieved from payment, he added.
The President also noted that all real property tax payments made by the IPPs over and above the reduced amount shall be applied to their real property tax liabilities for the succeeding years.
“While IPPs are taxable entities liable to pay the said RPTs, a substantial portion of the RPT has been contractually assumed by the National Power Corporation/Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation under the Build-Operate-Transfer scheme and similar contracts, and therefore carry the full faith and credit of the National Government,”Marcos said.
The closure and non-operation by the IPPs, defaulting on their tax obligations with the concerned LGU, “will entail substantial losses to the government, force the public to resort to more costly electric power source alternatives, and cause rotating power outages,” he added.
All concerned government entities, including relevant GOCCs and LGUs, are directed to strictly comply with the President’s order.
“All orders, rules and regulations, and other issuances or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby repealed or modified accordingly,” the President said.
“If any provision of this Order shall be held invalid or unconstitutional, the provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect,” he added.
EO 36 takes effect immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.