News Release

PBBM inks laws to establish Negros Island Region, improve PH tax collection system

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has signed two laws to establish the Negros Island Region and improve tax collection in the country.

The two laws — the Negros Island Region (NIR) Act, or the Republic Act 12000, and the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act (RPVARA), or RA 12001 — are expected to significantly contribute to the collective efforts in driving the country forward under a “Bagong Pilipinas.”

“Today, we sign into law two bills — the Negros Island Region Act or the NIR Act and the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Act. This moves us closer to attaining the vision of a resilient and a progressive and newer Philippines,” President Marcos said.

President Marcos made the remarks during the ceremonial signing of the NIR Act and the RPVARA at the Malacañan Palace on Thursday afternoon.

The NIR Act – which establishes the Negros Island Region – will unify the provinces of Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, Negros Oriental and Siquijor to promote administration decentralization; strengthen local autonomy; and accelerate economic, cultural and social development.

“This union is long overdue and makes very practical sense, especially in the Negros Island, where people are located on one island but are governed under separate administrative regions,” President Marcos said.

“So, for decades now, Negrenses have endured the rigors of sea travel, unnecessary expenses, bureaucratic red tape, [and] inefficiency that this arrangement has brought, especially when there is a need to urgently access government services from regional centers on other islands,” he added.

The chief executive also noted the glaring uneven growth and disparity of funding between the two provinces, which share many of same natural resources and industries such as sugar, tourism and renewable energy.

President Marcos extended his gratitude to the legislators for passing the law as he emphasized that the new Negros Island Region “will be a bulwark of greater growth as well as a conduit for more effective and efficient delivery of essential services in the region.”

“We envision as well the NIR as one of the centers of development in the Visayas, further accelerating socio-economic development for the millions of Negrenses and providing strategic convergence regarding resources, investments, and economic planning,” he said.

“Indeed, in unity, there is always strength. And that is what we are building, and I trust that the people of the newly established Negros Island Region will work together to complement each other’s strengths to build a more united and flourishing Negrense community,” he added.

The RPVARA, on the other hand, is one of the priority legislations, and is included in the Common Legislative Agenda of the Marcos administration aligned with the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.

President Marcos said the government’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda “put primacy” on the pursuit of bureaucratic efficiency driven by transparency, digitalization, and the practice of innovative work processes in the service.

“So, this new law is borne out of the necessity and the realization that there is a need to enhance the country’s tax collection system so we can generate revenues, generate jobs, [and] investments all over the country. No longer will we rely on the outdated valuation system,” he said.

“We now have instead the new and improved RPVARA. A law that streamlines and enhances the real property valuation and assessment system through a uniform real property appraisal that is compliant with international standards,” he added.

He also emphasized that the RPVARA adopts the prevailing market value as the single real property valuation base for the assessment of real property tax and complements with the government’s efforts to modernize services in the local government units through Real Property Information System.

President Marcos said the administration has adopted a strategy that will instill and encourage long-term and consistent text compliance by providing a two-year amnesty on interests and penalties for taxpayers with unpaid real property tax.

He also extended his gratitude to the House of Representatives and the Senate for passing the two important laws, which only showed their support to administration’s endeavors.

Before concluding his speech, President Marcos called on all government agencies to efficiently and effectively implement the NIR Act and the RPVARA to its fullest extent “so our people may reap its benefits at the soonest possible time. ” |PND