Pasig City insists on collecting taxes from Meralco

By Kristine L. Alave
Inquirer
Last updated 07:06pm (Mla time) 09/05/2007

MANILA, Philippines — The Pasig City government will not back down from its fight to collect P435 million in franchise taxes from the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

 

Mayor Robert Eusebio said on Wednesday that the city government’s legal team was already preparing to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

On August 28, the Court of Appeals’ 10th Division dismissed the Pasig City government’s plea to collect P435 million from Meralco, representing the franchise taxes the power firm supposedly owed the city from 1996 to 1999.

The appellate court’s decision reversed a ruling of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court-Branch 70 which earlier affirmed the validity of the city government’s demand for payment.

According to the appellate court, Pasig had no authority to legally assess and collect a franchise tax from Meralco because it did not enact an ordinance authorizing it to do so.

Eusebio, however, said he was undaunted by the ruling. “We fought for it for 10 years. It will not last that long if we don’t have a basis,” he added, noting that they were prepared to take the matter to the high tribunal.

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