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REPUBLIC ACTS

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REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5906

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5906  - AN ACT CREATING THE CITY OF PUERTO PRINCESA
 


ARTICLE I
 Title of Act

SECTION 1.    Title of Act. — This Act shall be known as "The Charter of the City of Puerto Princesa."

ARTICLE II
 General Provisions

Sec. 2.    Territory of the City of Puerto Princesa. — The City of Puerto Princesa, which is hereby created and hereinafter called the City, shall comprise the present territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa, Province of Palawan.

Sec. 3.    Corporate character of the City. — The City of Puerto Princesa constitutes a political body corporate and as such is endowed with the attribute of perpetual succession and possessed of the powers which pertain to a municipal corporation, to be exercised in conformity with the provisions of this Charter.

Sec. 4.    Seal and general powers of the City. — The City shall have a common seal, and may alter the same at pleasure. It may take, purchase, receive, hold, lease, convey, and dispose of real and personal property within or without its corporate limits for the general interest of the City, condemn private property for public use, contract and to be contracted with, sue and be sued, prosecute as well as defend to final judgment and execution actions where its interest are involved, and exercise all powers conferred by this Charter together with all the powers implied thereby or appropriate to the exercise thereof. The provisions of this Charter shall be construed liberally in favors of the City. The specific mention of particular powers in other sections of this Charter shall not be construed as limiting the powers of the city in the premises to those thus mentioned.

Sec. 5.    City not liable for damage. — The City shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to persons or property arising from the failure of the City Mayor, the City Council or any other city officer or employee, to enforce the provisions of this Charter, or of any other law or ordinance, or from the negligence of said Mayor, Council or other city officers or employees while enforcing or attempting to enforce said provisions: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall prevent any aggrieved party from filing a personal action in the proper court against any official or employee of the city government for any act or omission in the performance of his duties.  

Sec. 6.    Jurisdiction of the City. — The jurisdiction of the City for police purposes shall be co-extensive with its territorial jurisdiction; and shall extend to three miles from the shores of the City; and for the purpose of protecting and insuring the purity of the water supply of the City, such police jurisdiction shall also extend over all territory within the drainage area of such water supply, or within two hundred meters of any reservoir, conduit, canal, aqueduct or pumping station used in connection with the city water service. The City Court of the City shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Municipal Court of the respective municipalities to try crimes and misdemeanors committed within said drainage area or within said spaces of two hundred meters. The court first taking jurisdiction of such an offense shall thereafter retain exclusive jurisdiction thereof. The police force of the several municipalities concerned shall have the concurrent jurisdiction with the police force of the City for the maintenance of good order and the enforcement of ordinances throughout said zone, area, or spaces. But any license that may be issued within the zone, area or spaces shall be granted by the proper authorities of the municipality concerned, and the fees arising therefrom shall accrue to the treasury of the said municipality concerned and not to that of the City.

ARTICLE III
 The City Mayor and the Vice-Mayor

Sec. 7.    The City Mayor. — The City Mayor shall be the chief executive of the City. He shall be elected by the qualified voters of the City. He shall hold office for a term of four years, the first elected mayor to begin serving upon the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent municipal mayor. He shall receive a compensation of not less than twelve thousand six hundred pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven and shall be entitled, in addition to his salary, to a non-commutable allowance of not exceeding two thousand four hundred pesos per annum. No person shall be eligible for election as City Mayor, unless he is not less than thirty years of age, a resident of the City or that of the former Municipality of Puerto Princesa for the last two years prior to his election, and qualified voter therein.  

Sec. 8.    The City Vice-Mayor. — There shall be a City Vice-Mayor who shall be chosen in the same manner as the City Mayor, and shall possess the same qualifications as that of the City Mayor. He shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the City Mayor in the event of the death, sickness, absence or other temporary incapacity of the incumbent or in the event of permanent vacancy in the position of the City Mayor. If, for any reason, the City Vice-Mayor is temporarily incapacitated for the performance of the duties of the City Mayor, or said office of the City Vice-Mayor is vacant, the duties and powers of the City Mayor shall be performed and exercised by the councilor who obtained the highest number of votes during the election for members of the City Council. The City Vice-Mayor shall be presiding officer of the City Council, with no right to vote except in case of tie, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the City Mayor or prescribed by the law or ordinance. He shall receive a compensation of no less than seven thousand eight hundred pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven.

Sec. 9.    General powers and duties of the Mayor. — The Mayor shall have the following general powers and duties:

(a)    See that the provisions of this Charter, the ordinances of the city, and all laws within the jurisdiction of the city are faithfully enforced and complied with;

(b)    Safeguard all the lands, buildings, records, monies, credits, and other properties and rights of the City, and subject to the provisions of this Charter, to have control thereof;  

(c)    Cause to be instituted judicial proceedings to recover properties and funds of the City wherever found and cause to be defended all suits against the City;

(d)    See that all taxes and other revenues of the City are collected and applied in accordance with appropriations to the payment of the expenses of the City;

(e)    See that executive officers and employees of the city are properly discharging their respective duties. The Mayor, may in the interest of the service, transfer officers and employees not appointed by the President of the Philippines from one section, division, service or department, to another section, division, service or department, without changing the compensation they receive;

(f)    Examine and inspect the books, records, and papers of all officials, agents and employees of the City whenever occasion arises and at least once in each year;

(g)    Give such information and recommend such measures to the City Council as he shall deem advantageous to the City;

(h)    Attend, if he wishes to do so, the session of the City Council and participate in the discussion, but not to vote;

(i)    Represent the City in all its business matters and sign in its behalf all its bonds, contracts, and obligations made in accordance with the laws or ordinances;

(j)    Submit to the City Council two months before each fiscal year an annual budget of receipts and expenditures of the City. The City Council may not increase the appropriations recommended by the Mayor for the operation of the city government as specified in the budget;

(k)    Receive, hear and decide, as he may deem proper, the protest, complaints, and claims of the residents of the city concerning all classes of municipal matters of an administrative executive character;

(l)    Grant and refuse municipal license or permits of all classes including permits for benefits of whatever kind, any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding and to revoke the same for violation of the conditions upon which they were granted, or if acts prohibited by law or city ordinances are being committed under the protection of such licenses or in the premises in which the business for which the same have been granted is carried on or for any other good reasons of general and public interest;

(m)    Determine the time, manner, and place of payment of the salaries and wages of the officers and employees of the City;  

(n)    Exempt deserving poor pupils from the payment of school fees, or of any part thereof, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools;

(o)    Require owners of houses, buildings, or other structures constructed without the necessary permit or in violation of existing laws or ordinances, whether constructed on public or private lands, to remove or demolish such houses, buildings, or structures within sixty days after notice, and upon failure of such owner to remove or demolish such house, building, or structure within said period, the Mayor may summarily cause its removal or demolition at the expense of the owner, any existing law to the contrary notwithstanding;

(p)    Take such emergency measures as may be necessary to avoid fires, floods, and mitigate the effects of storms and other public calamities;

(q)    Request, if public interest and safety so require, the assistance of the Philippine Constabulary and other police agencies of the National Government in maintaining peace and order in the City and only in such cases and upon specific request made, can the Philippine Constabulary or other national police agencies intervene in the preservation of peace and order in the City;

(r)    Subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Law and rules, appoint all officers and employees whose salaries are paid wholly or partly from city funds, any existing law to the contrary notwithstanding, except such officers whose appointments are vested in the President or otherwise provided for in this Charter, and regular employees in the city auditor's office. Officers and employees appointed by the Mayor may be suspended by him for cause, and on the grounds provided by Civil Service Law and rules, for a period not exceeding thirty days, which suspension may continue for a longer period but not exceeding ninety days if concurred in by the City Council, and after proper investigation in accordance with the Civil Service Law and rules, and with the consent of at least two-thirds of all the members of the City Council, may discharge such officer or employee, any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding. The mayor may investigate or order the investigation of any city officer or employee not appointed by him and may recommend to the President or to the proper national department head the suspension or removal of such officer or employee;

(s)    Prepare and make out plans for the physical development of the city, zoning and land subdivision rules and regulations, subject to the approval of the City Council, any existing law or executive order to the contrary notwithstanding;

(t)    Release, subject to such conditions as he may see fit, or unconditionally, any person imprisoned or sentenced for violation of a city ordinance, or remit the sentence of such person, or any part thereof; and

(u)    Perform such other duties and exercise such other executive powers as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

SECTION 10.    Secretary to the City Mayor. — The City Mayor shall appoint one secretary who shall hold office at the pleasure of the City Mayor and shall receive a compensation of no less than four thousand eight hundred pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven.

The Secretary shall have charge and custody of all records and documents of the City and of any office or department thereof for which provisions is not otherwise made; shall keep the corporate seal and affix the same with his signature to all ordinances and resolutions signed by the City Mayor and to all other official documents and papers of the government of the City as may be required by law or ordinance, shall attest all executive orders, proclamations, ordinances, and resolutions signed by the City Mayor; shall upon request, furnish certified copies of all city records and documents in his charge which are not of a confidential character and shall charge twenty centavos for each one hundred words or fraction thereof, including the certificate, such fees to be paid directly to the city treasurer; and shall perform such other duties as the City Mayor may require him.  

ARTICLE IV
The City Council

SECTION 11.    Composition and compensation. — The City Council shall be the legislative body of the City and shall be composed of the City Vice-Mayor, who shall be the presiding officer, and eight councilors who shall be elected at large by the qualified voters of the City during every election for provincial, city and municipal officials in conformity with the provisions of the revised Election Code. In case of sickness, absence, suspension or other temporary disability of any member of the Council, or if necessary to maintain a quorum the City Mayor may appoint a temporary substitute who shall possess all the rights and perform all the duties of a member of the Council until the return to duty of the regular incumbent.

If the City Vice-Mayor or any member of the City Council shall be a candidate for office in any inspection, he shall be disqualified to act with said body in the performance of duties thereof relative to such election, and if, for such reason, the number of members should be unduly reduced, the City Mayor shall appoint any disinterested voter of the city to act in his place in such matters.

The members of the City Council shall each receive a salary of not less than six thousand pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven.

SECTION 12.    Qualifications, elections, suspension and removal of members. — The members of the City Council shall, at the time of their election be qualified voters of the city, residents therein for at least two years prior to their election and not less than twenty-five years of age. Such members may be suspended or removed from office under the same circumstances, in the same manner, and the same effect, as elective provincial officials and the provisions of law governing the suspension or removal of elective provincial officials are hereby made applicable in the suspension or removal of said members.

Elections for members of the Council shall be held or the date of the regular elections for provincial, city and municipal officials and elected members shall assume office for four years and until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified. The eight candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be declared elected. A vacancy in the City Council shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Election Code and the Decentralization Act of 1967.

SECTION 13.    Secretary of the City Council. — The City Council shall have a secretary who shall be appointed by the City Mayor to serve during the term of office of the appointing officer. The compensation of the secretary shall be not less than four thousand eight hundred pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven. A vacancy in the office of the Secretary shall be filled temporarily for the unexpired term by the Mayor.

The Secretary shall be in charge of the records of the City Council. He shall keep a complete record of the proceedings of the Council, and file all documents relative thereto; shall record, in a book kept for that purpose, all ordinances and resolutions and motions directing the payment of money or creating liability, enacted or adopted by the Council, with the dates of passage of the same, and of the publication of ordinances; shall keep a seal, circular in form with the inscription "City Council-City of Puerto Princesa" in the center of which shall be placed the coat of arms of the city, and affix the same, with his signature, to all ordinances and other officials acts of the Council, and shall present the same for signature to the presiding officer; shall cause each ordinance passed to be published as herein provided; shall, upon request furnish certified copies of all records of public character in his charge under the seal of his office and collect and receive therefor such fees as may be prescribed by resolution of the Council; and shall keep his office and all records therein which are not a confidential nature open to public inspection during usual business hours.

SECTION 14.    Legislative procedure. — The City Council shall hold one regular session for the transaction of business each week on a day which it shall fix by resolution, and such special sessions as may be called by the City Mayor. Its sessions, regular or special shall be open to the public, unless otherwise ordered by the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the Council. It shall keep a record of all its proceedings and determine its rules of procedure not herein set forth. A majority of all the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day and may compel the immediate attendance of any member who is absent without cause by issuing to the police of the City an order for his arrest and attendance at the session under such penalties as shall have been previously prescribed by ordinance. The affirmative vote of a majority of all the members shall be necessary for the passage of any ordinance, or of any resolution or motions directing the payment of money or creating liability, but other measures shall prevail upon the majority votes of the members present at any session duly called and held. The ayes and nays shall be taken and recorded upon the passage of all ordinances, upon all resolutions or motions directing the payment of money or creating liability, and, at the request of any member, upon any other resolution or motion. Each approved ordinance, resolution or motion shall be sealed with the seal of the City Council and recorded in a book kept for the purpose and shall, on the day following its passage be posted by the secretary at the main entrance of the City Hall and in at least two other public places, and shall take effect and be in force on and after the tenth day following its passage unless otherwise stated in said ordinance, resolution or motion, or vetoed by the City Mayor as hereinafter provided. A vetoed ordinance, it repassed shall take effect ten days after the veto is overridden by the required votes unless otherwise stated in the ordinance, resolution or motion.  

Each ordinance and each resolution or motion directing the payment of money or creating liability, enacted or adopted by the Council, shall be forwarded to the City Mayor for his approval. Within ten days after the receipt of the ordinance, resolution or motion, the City Mayor shall return it with his approval or veto. If he does not return it within ten days, it shall be deemed to be approved. If he returns it with his veto, his reasons therefor in writing shall accompany it. It may then again be enacted by a two-third vote of all the members of the Council.

The City Mayor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation ordinance, or any ordinance, resolution or motion or any item or items of any ordinance, resolution or motion but the veto of any item or items shall not affect the ordinance, resolution or motion or items which he does not object. The ordinance, resolution or motion, or item or items objected to shall not take effect except in the manner heretofore provided in this section as to ordinances, resolutions or motion returned to the Council with his veto; but should an item or items in an appropriation ordinance be disapproved by the City Mayor, the corresponding item or items in the appropriation ordinance of the previous year shall be deemed re-enacted.

SECTION 15.    General powers and duties of the Council. — Except as otherwise provided by law, and subject to the conditions and limitations thereof, the City Council shall have the following legislative powers:

(a)    Provide for the levy and collection of taxes for general and specific purposes in accordance with law, including specifically the power to levy real property tax not to exceed one and one-half per centum ad valorem: Provided, That the said maximum rate of one and one-half per centum shall not be imposed during the first ten years of the effectivity of this Act.

(b)    Fix the number and salaries of officials and employees of the City not otherwise provided for in this Act.

(c)    Make all appropriations for the expenses of the government of the City.

(d)    Authorize the free distribution of medicine to the employees and laborers of the City whose salary or wages does not exceed one hundred eighty pesos per month or six pesos per day, and of evaporated or fresh milk to indigent mothers, residing in the City, the distribution to be made under the direct supervision and control of the City Mayor.

(e)    Fix the schedule of fees and charges for all services rendered by the City or any of its departments, branches or officials.

(f)    Provide for the erection and maintenance of public schools; and, except as otherwise provided by law, to fix, with the approval of the Director of Public Schools, reasonable matriculation and/or tuition fees for intermediate and secondary instruction therein and to acquire sites for schoolhouses for primary and intermediate classes through purchase or conditional or absolute donation.

(g)    Provide for the erection and maintenance or the rental, in case of need, of the necessary buildings for the use of the City.

(h)    Establish and maintain or aid in the establishment and maintenance of vocational schools and institutions of higher learning conducted by the National Government or any of its subdivisions or agencies; and, with the approval of the Director of Public Schools, to fix reasonable tuition fees for instruction in the vocational schools and in the institutions of higher learning supported by the City.

(i)    Maintain any city court established by law which shall have jurisdiction of all criminals cases under the ordinances of the City, and such further jurisdiction as herein or hereafter conferred.

(j)    Provide for and maintain an efficient police force for the maintenance of law and order in the City, and make all necessary police ordinances, with a view to the confinement and reformation of vagrants, disorderly persons, mendicants, prostitutes and persons convicted of violating any of the ordinance of the city.

(k)    Provide for and maintain a city fire department and to establish and maintain engine houses, fire engines, hose trucks, hooks and ladders, and other equipment for the prevention and extinguishment of fires, and to regulate the management and use of the same.

(l)    Establish fire zones, determine the kinds of buildings or structures that may be erected within their limits, regulate the manner of constructing and repairing the same, and fix the fees for permits for the construction, repair, or demolition of buildings and other structures.  

(m)    Regulate the use of lights in stables, shops, and other buildings and places and to regulate and restrict the issuance of permits for the building of bonfires and rockets, and other pyrotechnic displays, and to fix the fees for such permits.

(n)    Make regulations to protect the public from conflagrations and prevent and mitigate the effects of famine, floods, storm and other public calamities, and provide relief thereof.

(o)    Tax, regulate and fix the amount of license fees for the following: hawkers, peddlers, hucksters, not including hucksters or peddlers who sell only vegetables, fruits, or foods, personally carried by the hucksters or peddlers, barbers, collecting agencies, manicurist, hair dressers, tattooers, jugglers, acrobats, wrestlers, and boxers; shooting galleries, slot machines, merry-go-rounds and other similar riding devices, and the keeping, preparation, and sale of meat, poultry, fish game, butter, cheese, lard, vegetables, bread, and other provisions; to impose a municipal occupation tax, not to exceed fifty pesos per annum, on lawyers, physicians, dentists, architects, civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical or mining engineers, radio engineers or technicians, certified public accountants, opticians and optometrists, veterinarians, and surveyors, insurance agents and sub-agents, business agents and business consultants, professional appraisers or connoisseurs of tobacco or other domestic or foreign products, music teachers, piano tuners, nurses, and midwives, auctioneers, plumbers, electrical contractors, building contractors, massagists, physical culture instructors, chiropodists, money changers, real estate, commercial and other brokers, and persons engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight by hire, including common carriers and transportation contractors: Provided, That persons exercising their profession or occupation only as salaried employees and not as independent practitioners shall be exempt from the municipal occupation tax herein prescribed.

(p)    Tax, fix the license fee and regulate the business of hotels, restaurants, refreshment places, cafes, lodging houses, brewers, distillers, rectifiers, laundries, dyeing and cleaning establishments, beauty parlors, physical or beauty culture and fashion schools, clubs, livery garages, public warehouses, pawnshops, theaters, cinematographs, and the letting or subletting of lands and buildings, whether used for commercial, industrial or residential purposes; and further to fix the location of, and to tax, fix the licensee fee on, and regulate the business of livery stables, boarding stables, embalmers, public billiard tables, public poll tables, bowling alleys, dance halls, public dance, halls, cabarets, night clubs, circuses and other similar parades public vehicles, public ferries, cockpits, dealers in second hand materials or merchandise, junk dealers, theatrical performances, boxing contests, public exhibitions, black smith shops, foundries, steam boilers, lumber yards, shipyards, the storage and sale of gunpowder, tar, pitch, resin-coal, oil, gasoline, benzine, turpentine, hemp, cotton, nitroglycerin, petroleum, or any of the products thereof and of all other highly combustible or explosive materials, and other establishments likely to endanger the public safety or give rise to conflagrations or explosions, and subject to the provisions of ordinances issued by the Bureau of Health Services in accordance with law, tanneries, renderies, tallow chandleries, bone factories, soap factories: Provided, That no license shall be granted to any theater or cinematograph unless the applicant for said license agrees to exhibit pictures made in the Philippine to the extent of five per centum of their annual exhibitions: And provided, further, That any violation of this condition shall cause the revocation of said license.

(q)    Tax and fix the license fees on printers or bookbinders, or both, manufacturers of rope, paper, leather goods, including shoes, slippers, sandals, harness and valises or bags, sporting goods, rubber goods, plastics and celluloid products, hardware, including glasswares, chemical products, including drugs, perfumes, toilet articles, paint, dyes, and inks, textiles, shell lamps or lamp shade or both, statuettes, or tombstone or both, sacks, furniture of all kinds, including rattan goods, wire, brass beds or both, clothing, hats, eyeglasses or optical goods or both, fertilizers or buttons.

Manufacturers above-mentioned shall not be subject to the payment of any municipal tax or license fees as retail dealers of their own products: Provided, That any manufacturing conducted solely by the immediate members of a family at their own home shall not be subject to any tax or license fee.  

(r)    Tax, fix the license fee on dealers in general merchandise, including importers and indentors, except those dealers who may be expressly subject to the payment of some other municipals tax under the provisions of this section.

Dealers in general merchandise shall be classified as (a) Wholesale dealers and (b) retail dealers. For purposes of the tax on retail dealers, general merchandise shall be classified into four main classes, namely: (1) luxury articles, (2) semi-luxury articles, (3) essential commodities, and (4) miscellaneous articles. A separate license shall be prescribed for each class but where commodities of different classes are sold in the same establishment, it shall not be compulsory for the owner to secure more than one license if he pays the higher or highest rate of tax prescribed by ordinance. Wholesale dealers shall pay the license tax as such, as may be provided by ordinance.

For purposes of this section, the term "general merchandise" shall include poultry and livestock, agricultural products, fish and other allied products.

(s)    Tax, fix the license fee on the regulate the sale, trading in or disposal of alcoholic or malt beverages, wines, and mixed or fermented liquors, including tuba, basi, tapuy, lambanog, offered for retail sale.

(t)    Impose a tax on all products or commodities manufactured or produced in the City and removed therefrom.

(u)    Impose a sale tax on, not exceeding one per centum of the gross value in money of all articles sold, bartered, exchanged or transferred within the city.

(v)    Regulate the method of using steam engines and boilers, and all other motive powers other than marine, or belonging to the Government of the Philippines; to provide for the inspection thereof, and fix a reasonable fee for such inspection and to regulate and fix the fees for the license of the engineers engaged in operating the same.

(w)    Provide for the prohibition an suppression of riots, affrays, disturbances, and disorderly assemblies; house of ill-fame and other disorderly houses; gaming houses; gambling and all fraudulent devices for the purpose of obtaining money or property, prostitution, vagrancy, intoxication, fighting, quarrelling, and all disorderly conduct; and printing, circulation, exhibition, possession or sake of obscene pictures, books, or publication, and for the maintenance and preservation of peace and good morals.

(x)    Prohibit or regulate and fix the license fees for the keeping of dogs, and to authorize their impounding and destruction when running at large contrary to ordinances and to tax, and regulate the keeping or training of fighting cocks.  

(y)    Establish and maintain pounds; to regulate, restrain, and prohibit the running at large of domestic animals, and sale of the same for the penalties incurred, and the cost of the proceedings; and to impose penalties upon the owners of said animals for the violation of any ordinance in relation thereto.

(z)    Prohibit, and provide for the punishment of cruelty to animals.

(aa)    Require property owners by ordinance to construct or repair, at their expense, sidewalks along the street or streets adjacent to their lots in accordance with the specifications of the city engineer as to the quality, width and grade, and subject to his supervision and approval, providing that, in case of failure or inability of the property owners to comply with the requirement within a specified period of time after demand, the city engineer shall cause the work to be done and the cost thereof collected as a special assessment from such owners, who may choose to pay the same in full, or in ten equal yearly installments which shall be due and payable to the City in the same manner as the annual tax levied on real estate and shall be made subject to the same penalties for delinquency, and enforceable by the same remedies, as such annual tax; and all said sums and amounts shall, from the day in which they are assessed, constitute liens which may exist upon such property excepting only such as may have been attached as a result of the non-payment of said annual tax.

(bb)    Regulate the inspection, weighing, and measuring of brick, lumber, coal and other articles or merchandise.

(cc)    Subject to the provisions of existing law, to provide for the laying out, construction and improvement, and to regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, wharves, piers, parks, cemeteries, and other public places; to provide for lighting, cleaning, and sprinkling of streets, and public places; to regulate, fix license fees for and prohibit the use of the same for processions, signs, signposts, awnings, awning posts, and the carrying or displaying of banners, placards, advertisements, or handbills, or the flying of signs, flags, or banners whether along, across, over or from buildings along the same; to prohibit the placing, throwing, depositing, or leaving of obstacles of any kind, garbage, refuse, or other offensive matter or matters liable to cause damage in the street and other public places and to provide for the collection and disposition thereof; to provide for the inspection of, fix the license fees for and regulate the openings in the same for the laying of water, sewer and other pipes, the building and repair of tunnels, sewers and drains, and all structures in and under the same and regulate cross-walks, curbs and gutters thereon; to name streets without names and provide for and regulate the numbering of houses and lots fronting thereon or in the interior of the blocks; to regulate traffic and sales upon the streets and other public places; to provide for the abatement of nuisance in the same and punish the authors and owners thereof; to provide for the construction and maintenance and regulate the use of bridges, viaducts and culverts; to prohibit and regulate ball playing , hoop rolling, and other amusements which may annoy persons using the streets and public places, or frighten horses and other animals; to regulate the speed of horse and other animal driven vehicles within the limits of the City.

(dd)    Provide for the construction and maintenance of and regulate the navigation on canals and watercourses within the city and provide for the cleansing and purification of the same; unless otherwise provided by law, to provide for the construction and maintenance, and regulate the use of public landing places, wharves, piers, docks, and levees, and those of private ownership; and to provide for or regulate the drainage and filling of private premises when necessary in the enforcement of sanitary rules and regulations issued in accordance with law.

(ee)    Subject to the provisions of the Public Service Law, to fix the charges to be paid by all watercraft landing at or using public wharves, docks, levees, or landing places owned, operated, managed or controlled by the  city.  

(ff)    Any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, to provide for the maintenance of waterworks for the purpose of supplying water to the inhabitants of the City, and for the purification of the source of water supply and the places through which the same passes, and to regulate the consumption and use of water; to fix subject to the provisions of the Public Service Law, and provide for the collection of rents therefor and to regulate the construction, repair, and the use of hydrants, pumps, cisterns and reservoirs.

(gg)    Provide for the establishment and maintenance and regulate the use of public drains, sewers, latrines and cesspools.

(hh)    Subject to the rules and regulations issued by the Director of Health Services in accordance with law, to provide for the establishment maintenance and to fix the fees for the use of, and regulate public stables, laundries, and baths, and public markets by any person, entity, association, or corporation other than the City.

(ii)    Establish or authorize the establishment of slaughterhouses, to provide for their veterinary or sanitary inspection, to regulate the use of the same, and to charge reasonable slaughter fees. No fees shall be charged for veterinary or sanitary inspection of meat from large cattle or domestic animals slaughtered outside the city, when such inspection was had at the place where the animals were slaughtered.

(jj)    Regulate, inspect and provide measures preventing any discrimination of the exclusion of any race or races in or from any institution, establishment, or service open to the public within the city limits, or in the sale supply of gas or electricity, or in the telephone service; to fix and regulate charges therefor where the same has not been fixed by national law, to regulate and provide for the inspection of all gas, electric and telephone conduits, main, meters, and other apparatus, and provide for the condemnation, substitution or removal of the same when defective or dangerous.

(kk)    Declare, prevent and provide for the abatement of nuisances; to regulate the ringing of bells and the making of loud or unusual noises; to provide that owners, agents, or tenants of building or premises to keep and maintain the same in sanitary condition and that, in case of failure to do so within sixty days from the date a written notice is served the city health officer shall cause the same to be kept in a sanitary condition, and the cost thereof to be assessed against the owner to the extent of not to exceed sixty per centum of the assessed value, which cost shall constitute a lien against the property; and to regulate and/or prohibit, or fix the license fees for the use of property on or near public ways, grounds, or places, or elsewhere within the city, for display by electric signs or the erection or maintenance of billboards or structures of whatever materials erected, maintained, or used for the display of posters, signs, or other pictorial or reading matter, except signs displayed at the place or places where the profession or business advertised thereby is in whole or in part conducted.

(ll)    Provide for the enforcement of the rules and regulations issued by the Director of Health Services; and by ordinance to prescribe penalties for violations of such rules and regulations.

(mm)    Extend its ordinances over all waters within the City, and over any boat or other floating structures thereon and for the purpose of protecting and insuring the purity of the water supply of the City, over all territory within the drainage area of such water supply, and within two hundred meters of any reservoir, conduits, canal aqueduct, or pumping station used in connection with the city water service.

(nn)    Regulate any other business or occupation being conducted within the city specifically mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, and to impose a license fee upon all persons engaged in the same or who enjoy privileges in the City.  

(oo)    Fix and regulate the size, speed, and operation of motor and other vehicles within the city; to regulate the lights used on such vehicles; to establish bus stops and terminals; and prohibit and regulate the entrance of provincial public utility vehicles into the City, except those passing through the city.

(pp)    Grant fishing and fishery privileges subject to the provisions of the Fishery Act.

(qq)    Fix the date of the holding of a fiesta in the city and any of its constituent barrios, and limit the holding of the same to once a year only, and to alter, not oftener than once in three years the date fixed for the celebration thereof.

(rr)    Enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the sanitation and safety, the furtherance of the prosperity, and the promotion of morality, peace, good order, comfort, convenience, and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, and such others as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this Charter; and to fix penalties for the violation of ordinances, which shall not exceed a two hundred pesos fine and or six months imprisonment, or both such fines and imprisonment for a single offense.

(ss)    Exercise the power of eminent domain with the approval of the Department Head concerned or the President of the Philippines for the following purposes; The construction or extension of roads, streets, sidewalks, boulevards, seawalls, bridges, ferries, levees, wharves or piers, airfields, the construction of public buildings, including schoolhouses and the making of necessary improvements in connection therewith; the establishment of parks, playgrounds, plazas, market places, artesian wells, or systems for the supply of water, irrigation, canals, and dams, and the establishment of nurseries, breeding center for animals, health centers, hospitals, cemeteries, crematories, drainage system, cesspools, or sewage system and abattoirs.

(tt)    Undertake and carry out the reclamation of submerged land from the sea adjoining the city limits at the expense of the city, the area thus reclaimed to belong exclusively to the city, or to cause to be undertaken by private contractors such reclamation work on terms and conditions approved by the City Mayor and City Council.

(uu)    Dispose by lease or otherwise all lands of the public domain ceded to it by the national Government pursuant to the provisions of this Charter.

SECTION 16.    Restrictive provisions. — No commercial sign, signboard, or billboard shall be erected or displayed on public lands, premises or building. If, after due investigation, and having given owners an opportunity to be heard, the City Mayor shall decide that any sign, signboards or billboards displayed or exposed to public view is offensive to the sight or is otherwise a nuisance, he may order the removal of such sign, signboard or billboard, and if same is not remove within ten days after he has issued such order, he may himself cause its removal, and the sign, signboard or billboard shall thereupon be forfeited to the City and the expenses incident to the removal of the same shall become a lawful charge against any person or property liable for the erection or display thereof.  

ARTICLE V
 Department and Offices of the City

SECTION 17.    City departments. — There shall be the following city departments over which the City Mayor shall have direct control and supervision, any existing law to the contrary notwithstanding: (a) Finance, (b) Assessment Department, (c) Engineering and Public Works Department, (d) Law Department, (e) Prosecution Department, (f) Health Department, (g) Police Department, and (h) Fire Department.

The City Council may from time to time make such readjustments of the duties of the different departments as the public interest may demand, and may consolidate any department, division or office with any other department, division or office of the City.

SECTION 18.    Powers and duties of heads of Departments. — Each head of department of the city government shall be in control of such department under the direction of the City Mayor and shall possess such powers as may be prescribed herein or by ordinance. He shall certify to the correctness of all payrolls and vouchers of his department covering the payment of money before payment, except as herein otherwise expressly provided. At least four months before the beginning of each fiscal year, he shall prepare and present to the City Mayor an estimate of the receipts and appropriations necessary for the operation of his department during the ensuing fiscal year, and shall submit therewith such information for purposes of comparison as the City Mayor may desire. He shall also submit to the City Mayor as often as required reports covering the operation of his department.

In case of absence or sickness, or inability to act of any other reasons of the head of any of the city departments, the officers next in rank of that department, shall act in his place with authority to sign all necessary papers vouchers, requisitions and similar documents.

SECTION 19.    Appointment and Removal of Employees. — The President of the Philippines, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, shall appoint the city judge, the city treasurer, the city engineer, the city fiscal, the city health officer, the city superintendent of schools. Said officers shall not be suspended nor removed except in the manner of and for causes provided by law.

Subject to the provisions of Civil Service Law, the City Mayor shall appoint all other officers and employee paid out of city funds, and they shall be suspended or removed in accordance with law.

Sec. 20.    Officers not engaged in certain transactions. — It shall be unlawful for any city officer, individually or as a member of a firm, to engage in any business transaction with the city, or with any of its authorized officials, boards, agents or attorneys, whereby money is to be paid, out of the resources of the city to such person or firm; or to purchase any real estate or other property belonging to the city, or shall be sold for taxes or assessments, or by virtue of legal process at the suit of the city or to be surety on the official bond of any officer of the city; and shall not be financially interested in any transaction or contract in which the National Government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof is an interested party.

ARTICLE VI
 Relation to Bureaus and other offices

Sec. 21.    The General Auditing Office. — The Auditor General shall receive and audit all accounts to the city in accordance with the provisions of law relating to government accounts and accounting. The provincial auditor of the Province of Palawan shall at the same time be ex-officio city auditor and shall receive additional compensation as may be prescribed by law.  

Sec. 22.    The Bureau of Public Schools. — The Director of Public Schools shall exercise the same jurisdiction and powers in the city as elsewhere in the Philippines, and the division superintendent of schools of the Province of Palawan shall at the same time be the ex-officio city superintendent of schools and shall receive additional compensation as may be prescribed by law. He shall have all the powers and duties in respect to the schools of the City as are vested in division superintendents in respect to school of their division: Provided, That salaries of the supervisors, principals, teachers, and other operational expenses of the primary, intermediate, high schools, and other public schools in the city shall be borne by the National Government.

Sec. 23.    The Land Registration Commission. — The Commissioner of the Land Registration Commission shall exercise the same jurisdiction and powers in the city as elsewhere in the Philippines, and the register of deeds of the Province of Palawan shall be the ex-officio register of deeds of the city and shall receive additional compensation as may be prescribed by law.

ARTICLE VII
 Finance Division

Sec. 24.    The City Treasurer. — There shall be a city treasurer who shall have the charge of the finance department and shall act as chief fiscal officer and financial adviser of the city and custodian of its funds. He shall receive a salary of not less than eleven thousand four hundred pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven. He shall have the following general powers and duties:

(a)    Collect all taxes due the city, all license authorized by law per ordinance, all rents due for lands, markets and other properties owned by the City, and all further charges of whatever nature fixed by law or ordinance; shall administer markets and slaughterhouses and shall receive and issue receipts for all costs, fees, fines and forfeitures imposed by the municipal court of the City.

(b)    Collect all miscellaneous charges made by the engineering and public works department and by other departments of the city government, and all charges made by the city engineer for inspections, permits, licenses and the installations, maintenance and services rendered on the operation of the private privy system.

(c)    Unless otherwise specifically provided by law or resolution to perform in and for the City the duties imposed by law or resolution upon provincial treasurer in general as well as other duties imposed upon by him by law.

(d)    Purchase and issue all supplies, equipments or other property required by the City, through the purchasing agent, or otherwise, as may be authorized, subject to the general provisions of law relating thereto.

(e)    Be accountable for all funds and property of the city and shall render such accounts in connection therewith as may be prescribed by the Auditor General.

(f)    Deposit all city funds and collections in any bank duly designated as Government depository in accordance with the existing rules and regulations.

(g)    Disburse the funds of the City in accordance with duly authorized appropriations, upon properly executed vouchers bearing the approval of the chief of the department concerned, and on or before the twentieth day of each month, he shall furnish the City Mayor and the City Council, for information, a statement of the appropriation, expenditures, and balances of all funds and accounts as of the day of the month preceding.

(h)    Be the custodian of all moneys released for public works for the city from the National Government and shall disburse the same.  

ARTICLE VIII
 The Department of Assessment

Sec. 25.    The City Assessor — His powers and duties. — There shall be a city assessor who shall have charge of the department of assessment and who shall receive the salary prescribed by law. The city assessor shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Assess either by himself or his duly authorized deputy, all lands, buildings and other real properties subject to taxation within the jurisdiction of the City, and for this purpose he and his authorized deputies are empowered to administer any oath in connection with the valuation of real estate for the assessment and collection of taxes.

(b)    Make a list of the taxable real estate in the city and the names of the owners thereof; with a brief description of the property opposite each such names and the cash value thereof.

In making this list, the city assessor shall take into consideration any sworn statement made by the owners of the property, but shall not be prevented thereby from considering any other evidence on the subject and exercising his own judgment in respect thereto. For the purpose of completing this list he and his representatives may enter upon the real estate for the purpose of examining and measuring it and may summon witnesses, administer oath to them, and subject to examination concerning the amount of real estate, its ownership and cash value.

(c)    Examine, if necessary, the records of the register of deeds of the Province of Palawan showing the ownership of real estate in the City.

Sec. 26.    Real estate exempt from taxation. — The following shall be exempted from taxation:

(a)    Lands and building which are the only real property of the owner, and the value of which does not exceed five hundred pesos.

(b)    Lands or buildings owned by the National Government or the City of Puerto Princesa, and burying grounds, churches, and adjacent personages and convents, and lands or buildings used exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, or educational purposes and not for profit.

(c)    Machinery, which term shall embrace machines, mechanical contrivances, instruments, appliances, and apparatus attached to real estate, used for industrial, agricultural or manufacturing purposes, during the first two years of the operation of the machinery.

Sec. 27.    Declaration to be made by persons acquiring or improving real estate. — It shall be the duty of each person who, at any time, acquires real estate in the city, and of each person who constructs or adds to any improvements on real estate owned by him in the city, to prepare and present to the City Assessor within a period of sixty days next following such acquisition, construction or addition, a sworn declaration setting forth the value of the real estate acquired or the improvement constructed or addition made by him and description of such property sufficient to enable the city assessor readily to identify the same. Any person having acquired real estate who fails to make and present the declaration herein required within the said period of sixty days shall be deemed to have waived his right to notice of the assessment of such property, and the assessment of the same in the name of its former owner shall, in all such cases, be valid and binding on all persons interested, and for all purposes as though the same has been assessed in the name of its present owner.  

Sec. 28.    Action when owner makes no returns or is unknown, or ownership is in dispute or in doubt, or when land and improvements are separately owned. — If the owner of any parcel of real estate shall fail to make a return thereof, or if the city assessor is unable to discover the owner of any real estate, he shall nevertheless list the same for taxation, and charge the tax against an unknown owner. In case of doubt or dispute as to ownership of real estate, the taxes shall be levied against the possessor or possessors thereof. When it shall appear that there are separate owners of the land and the improvements thereon, a separate assessment of the property of each shall be made.

Sec. 29.    Action in case estate has escaped taxation. — If it shall come to the knowledge of the city assessor that any taxable real estate in the city has escaped listing, it shall be his duty to list and value the same at the time and in the manner provided in the succeeding section and to charge against the owner thereof the taxes due for the current year and the last preceding one year, and the taxes thus assessed shall be legal and collectible by all the remedies herein provided, and if the failure of the city assessor to assess such taxes at the time when they should have been assessed was due to any fault or negligence on the part of the owner of such property, the penalties shall be added to such taxes as though they had been assessed at the time when they should have been assessed.

Sec. 30.    When assessment may be increased or reduced. — The city assessor shall, during the first fifteen days of January of each year add to his list of taxable real estate in the city the value of the improvements placed upon such property during the preceding year, and any property which is taxable and which has theretofore escaped taxation. He may, during the same period, revise and correct the assessed value of any or all parcels of real estate in the City which are not assessed at their true money value, by reducing or increasing the existing assessment, as the case may be.

Sec. 31.    Publication of complete list and proceedings thereon. — The city assessor shall, after the list have been completed, inform the public by notice published for seven days in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, if any, and by notice posted for seven days at the main entrance of the City Hall, that the list is on file in his office and may be examined by any person interested therein, and that upon the date fixed in the notice, which shall not be later than the tenth day of February, the city assessor will be in his office for the purpose of hearing complaints as to the accuracy of the listing of the property and the assessed value thereof. He shall further notify in writing each person the amount of whose tax will be charge by such proposed revision, by delivering or mailing at least thirty days in advance of the date fixed in the notice such notification to such person or his authorized agent at the last known address of said owner or agent in the Philippines, sometime in the month of January. It shall be his duty carefully to preserve and record in his office copies of said notice. On the day fixed in the notice, and for five days thereafter, he shall be present in his office to hear all complaints filed within the period by persons against whom taxes have been assessed as owners of real estate and he shall make his decision forthwith and enter the same in a well bound book, to be kept by him for that purpose, and if he shall determine that injustice had been done or errors have been committed he is authorized to amend the list in accordance with his findings.

Sec. 32.    City Assessor to authenticate list of real estate assessed. — The city assessor has authenticate each list of real estate valued and assessed by him as soon as the same is completed, by signing the following certificate at the foot thereof:

"I hereby certify that the foregoing list contains a true statement of the piece of pieces of taxable real estate belonging to each person named in the list, and its true cash value, and that no real estate taxable by law in the City of Puerto Princesa has been omitted from the list, according to the best of knowledge and belief.

_______________________
(Signature)
City Assessor"

Sec. 33.    Time and manner of appealing to Board of Tax Appeals. — In case any owner of real estate, or his authorized agent, shall feel aggrieved by any decision of the city assessor under the preceding sections of this Article, such owner or agent may within thirty days after the entry of such decision, appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals. The appeal shall be perfected by filing a written notice of the same with the City Assessor and it shall be the duty of that officer forthwith to transmit the appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals with all the written evidence in his possession relating to such assessment and valuation.  

Sec. 34.    Constitution and compensation of Board of Tax Appeals. — There shall be a Board of Tax Appeals which shall be composed of five members to be appointed by the President of the Philippines with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. Three members of the Board shall be selected from among government officials in the city other than those in charge of assessment and they shall serve without additional compensation. The two other members shall be selected from among property owners in the city and they shall each receive a compensation of ten pesos for each day of session actually attended. The Chairman of the Board shall be designated in the appointment and shall have the power to designate and city official or employee to serve as the secretary of the Board without additional compensation.

The members of the Board of tax Appeals shall hold office for a term of two years unless sooner removed by the President of the Philippines.

Sec. 35.    Oath to be taken by members of the Board of Tax Appeals. — Before organizing as such, the members of the Board of Tax Appeals shall take the following oath before the municipal judge or some other officer authorized to administer oaths:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will hear and determine well and truly all matters and issues between taxpayers and the City Assessor submitted for my decision. So help me God. (In case of affirmation the last four words are to be stricken out.)

_______________________
(Signature)
Members of the Board of Tax
Appeals"

"Subscribed and sworn to (or affirmed) before me this _________ day of _______________, 19_______.

_______________________
(Signature and Title of Officer Administering the Oath)"

Sec. 36.    Proceedings before the Board of Tax Appeals and the Department Head. — The Board of Tax Appeals shall hold such number of sessions as may be authorized by the Secretary of Finance, shall hear all appeals only transmitted to it and shall decide the same forthwith. It shall have authority to cause to be amended the listing and valuation of the property in respect to which any appeal has been perfected by order signed by the board or majority thereof, and transmit it to the City Assessor who shall amend the tax list in conformity with said order. It shall also have the power to revise and correct, with the approval of the Department Head first, any and all erroneous or unjust assessment and valuations for taxation, and make a correct and just assessment and state the true valuation in each case when it decides that the assessment previously made is erroneous or unjust. The assessment when so corrected shall be as lawful and valid for all purposes as though the assessment had been made within the time herein prescribed. Such assessment and revaluation shall be made on due notice to the individual concerned who shall be entitled to be heard by the Board of Tax Appeals before any reassessment or revaluation is made. The decision of the Board of Tax Appeals shall be final unless the department Head declares the decision reopened for review by him in which case he may make such revision or revaluation as in his opinion the circumstances justify. Such revision when approved by the President shall be final.

Sec. 37.    Taxes on real estate. — Extension and remission of the Tax. — A tax, the rate of which shall not exceed one and one half per centum ad valorem to be determined by the City Council, shall be levied annually on or before the second Monday of January on the assessed value of all real estate in the city subject to taxation; all taxes for any year shall be due and payable annually on the first day of June and from this date such taxes together with all penalties accruing thereto shall constitute a lien on the property subject to such taxation.  

Such liens shall be superior to all other liens, mortgages, encumbrances of any kind whatsoever; and shall be enforceable against the property whether in the possession of the delinquent or any subsequent owner, and can only be removed by the payment of the tax and penalty.

At the option of the taxpayer, the tax for any year may be paid in two installments to be fixed annually by the City Council simultaneously with the rate per centum ad valorem taxation: Provided, That the time limit for the first installment shall be set at not later than the thirty-first of May and the thirtieth day of October of each year respectively.

Any person, who, on the last day set for the payment of real estate tax as provided in the preceding paragraph, shall be within the premises of the City Hall willing and ready to pay the tax but is unable to effect it on account of the large number of taxpayers therein present, shall be furnished a properly prescribed card which will entitle him to pay the tax without penalty on the following day.

The words "paid under protest" shall be written upon the face of the real estate tax receipt upon the request of any person willing to pay the tax under protest. Confirmation in writing of an oral protest shall be made within thirty days.

At the expiration of the time for the payment of the real estate tax without penalty, the taxpayer shall be subject, from the first day of delinquency, to the payment of a penalty at the rate of two per centum for each full month of delinquency that has expired, on the amount of original tax due, until the tax shall have been paid in full or until the property shall have been forfeited to the city as provided in this Act: Provided, That in no case shall the total penalty exceed twenty-four per centum of the original tax due. In the event that the crops is extensively damaged or that a great lowering of the prices of products is registered in any year, or that a similar disaster extends throughout the province, or for other good and sufficient reason, the City Council, may, by resolution passed on or before the thirty-first day of December of each year, extend the time for the collection of the tax on real estate in the city for a period not to exceed three months, or remit wholly or in part the payment of the tax or penalty for the ensuing year, but such resolution shall have to specify clearly the grounds for such extension or remission and shall not take effect until it shall have been approved by the Department Head.

The President of the Philippines, may, in his discretion, remit or reduce the real estate taxes for any year in the city if he deems this to be in the public interest.

Sec. 38.    Seizure of the personal property for delinquency in payment of the taxes. — After a property shall have become delinquent in the payment of taxes and said taxes and corresponding penalties shall remain unpaid ninety days after the payment thereof shall have become due, the city treasurer, or his deputy, if he desires to compel payment through seizure of any personal property of any delinquent person or persons, shall issue a duly authenticated certificate, based on the records of his office, showing the fact of delinquency and the amount of the tax and penalty due from said delinquent person or persons or from each of them. Such certificate shall be sufficient warrant for the seizure; and these proceedings may be carried out by the city treasurer, his deputy or any other officer, authorized to carry out legal proceedings.

Sec. 39.    Personal property exempt from seizure and sale for delinquency. — The following personal property shall be exempt from seizure, sale and execution for delinquency in the payment of the real estate tax:

(a)    Tools and implements necessarily used by the delinquent in his trade or employment.

(b)    One horse, cow or carabao, or other beast of burden, such as the delinquent may select, and necessarily used by him in his ordinary occupation.

(c)    His necessary clothing and that of his family.  

(d)    Household furniture and utensils necessary for housekeeping and used for that purpose by the delinquent, such as he may select of a value not exceeding five hundred pesos.

(e)    Provisions for individuals or family use sufficient for four months.

(f)    The professional libraries of lawyers, judges, clergymen, physicians, engineers, school teachers, and music teachers not exceeding one thousand pesos in value.

(g)    The fishing boat and net, not exceeding the total value of one hundred pesos, the property of any fisherman, by the lawful use of which he earns a livelihood.

(h)    Any article or material which forms part of a home or of any improvement on any real estate.

Sec. 40.    The owner may redeem personal property before sale. — The owner may redeem personal property seized may redeem the same from the collecting officer at any time after the seizure and before the sale by tendering to him the amount of the tax, the penalty, and the cost incurred up to the time of tender. The cost to be charged in making such seizure and sale shall only embrace the actual expenses of seizure and preservation of the property pending the sale, and no charge shall be imposed for the services of the collection officer or his deputy.

Sec. 41.    Sale of seized personal property. — Unless redeemed as hereinbefore provided, the property seized through proceedings under Section thirty-eight hereof, shall alter due advertisement be exhibited for sale at public auction and so much of the same as shall satisfy the tax, penalty, and cost of seizure and sale shall be sold to the highest bidder. The purchaser at such sale shall acquire an indefeasible title to the property sold. The advertisement shall state the time, place and cause of sale, and be posted for ten days prior to the date of the auction, at the main entrance of the City Hall and at a public conspicuous place in the district where the property was seized.

The sale shall take place, at the discretion of the city treasurer or his deputy, either at the main entrance of the City Hall or at the district where such property was seized. If no satisfactory bid is offered in the aforementioned district, another action shall be had, upon notice published anew.

Sec. 42.    Return of Officer. — Disposal of Surplus. — The officer directing the sale under the preceding section shall forthwith make return of his proceedings, and note thereof shall be made by the city treasurer upon his record. Any surplus resulting from the sale, over and above the tax penalty and cost, and any property remaining in the possession of the officer shall be returned to the taxpayer on account of whose delinquency the sale has been made.

Sec. 43.    Vesting title to real estate in city government. — Upon the expiration of one year from date on which the taxpayer became delinquent, and in the event of continued default in the payment of the tax and penalty, all private rights, titles and interests in and to the real estate on which said tax is delinquent, shall be indefeasibly vested in the city government, subject only to the rights of redemption and repurchase provided for hereinbelow: Provided, That the title acquired by said city government to real estate shall not be superior to the title thereto of the original owner prior to the seizure   thereof.  

Sec. 44.    Redemption of real estate before seizure. — At any time after the delinquency shall have occurred, but not after the expiration of ninety days from the date of the publication of the advertisement provided for in the next succeeding section, the owner of his lawful representative, or any person having any lien, right, or any other legal or equitable interest in said property, may pay the taxes and penalties accrued and thus redeem the property. Such redemption shall operate to divest the city government of its title to the property in question and to revert the same to the original owner, but when such redemption shall be made by a person other than the owner of the payment shall constitute a lien on the property, and the person making such payment shall be entitled to recover the same from the original owner, or if he be a lessee, he may retain the amount of said payment from the proceeds of any income due to the owner of such property: Provided, That the person exercising the right of redemption shall not acquire a title to said property better than that of the original owner prior to the seizure.

Sec. 45.    Notice of seizure of real estate. — Notice of seizure of the real estate shall be made by posting notices at the main entrance of the City Hall, the provincial capitol building an all the municipal buildings in the Province of Palawan, in English, Pilipino and in the dialect commonly used in the locality, and copy of said notice shall be sent by the registered mail to the owner of the property. A copy of said notice shall also be posted on the property subject to seizure. Such notices shall state the name of the delinquent persons, the date on which such delinquency commenced, the amount of the taxes and penalties then due from each, and shall state that unless such taxes and penalties are paid within ninety days from the date of the publication of such notice, the forfeiture of the delinquent real estate to the city government shall become absolute.

Sec. 46.    Ejectment of occupants of seized property. — After the expiration of ninety days from the date of the publication of the notice of delinquency provided for in the next preceding section, the city treasurer, or his deputy, may issue to the Mayor or to other officers authorized by law to execute and enforce the laws, a certificate describing the parcel of real estate on which the taxes have been declared delinquent stating the amount of taxes due, and the penalties and costs accrued by reason of the delinquency, and requesting him to eject from said property all the tenants and occupants thereof. Upon receiving such certificate, the Mayor, or any other officer authorized to enforce the law shall forthwith have all the tenants and occupants who refuse to recognize the title to the city expelled from the property in question, and to that end he may use the police force: Provided, however, That if the property so seized is or includes a residential home, the occupant thereof shall be given a sufficient time, not exceeding ten days from the date the notice of ejectment to vacate the premises.

Sec. 47.    Redemption of real property before sale. — After the title to the property shall have become vested in the city government in the manner provided for in Section forty-three and forty-five hereof, and at any time prior to the sale or execution of the contract, of sale by the city treasurer to a third party, the original owner or his legal representatives or any person having any alien, right or legal interest to or equity in said property, shall have the right to redeem the entire property in question by paying the full amount of taxes and penalties due thereon at the time of the seizure, and if the city treasurer shall have entered into a lease of the property, the redemption shall be made subject to said lease: Provided, That the payment of the price of sale may, at the discretion of the purchaser, be made in the installments, extending over a period not exceeding twelve months, but the initial payment which must be made on the date of the filing of the application for redemption, and every subsequent payment, shall not be less than twenty-five per centum, the sum due, and shall in no case be less than two pesos, unless the total or the balance of the amount due on all seized property in the name of the taxpayer is less than two pesos. The purchaser may occupy the property after paying the first installment, and the usual taxes on the property shall be payable in the year after that in which the application for redemption was approved. Any failure of the purchaser to pay any installment on the date it is due shall have the effect of a forfeiture to the city government of any partial payment made by said purchaser, and in case he has taken possession of the property, he shall forthwith surrender the same to the city government. In case the purchase shall fail to relinquish possession of said property, the city treasurer or his deputy shall forthwith adopt measures to eject therefrom all the tenants or occupants thereof as provided for in this Act: Provided, That the original owner of any real estate seized prior to the approval of this Act, who redeems the same within six months subsequent to its approval, is hereby released from any obligations he may have to the Government for rent for the use of such property: Provided, finally, That the provisions of this section shall apply to redemption of real estate seized for delinquency in the payment of taxes thereon and not redeemed up to the date of the approval of this Act.  

Sec. 48.    Notice of sale of real estate at public auction. — At any time after the forfeiture of any real estate shall have become absolute, the treasurer, pursuant to the rules of procedure to be promulgated by the department heads may announce the sale of real estate seized on account of delinquency in the payment of taxes thereon, for the redemption of which no application has been filed. Such announcement shall be made by posting a notice for three consecutive weeks at the main entrance of the City Hall and of all the municipal buildings of the province, in either English, Pilipino and in the dialect commonly used in the locality and by publishing the same once a week during three consecutive weeks in a newspaper, if there is any, of general circulation in the City. Copies of such notice shall be sent immediately by registered mail to the delinquent taxpayer at the latter home address, if known. The notice shall state the amount of the taxes and penalties so due, the time and place of such sale, the name of the taxpayer against whom the taxes are levied, and the approximate area, the lot number and the location by district and street and the street number and district or barrio where the real estate to be sold is located.

Sec. 49.    Sale of real estate. — Conditions. — At any time during the sale or prior thereto, the taxpayer may stay the proceedings by paying, the taxes and penalties to the city treasurer or his deputy. Otherwise the sale shall proceed and shall be held either at the main entrance of the City Hall or on the premises of the real estate to be sold as the city treasurer or his deputy may determine.  

The payment of the sale price may, at the option of the purchaser, be made on installments covering a period not exceeding twelve months but the initial payment shall be made at the time of the sale, and each subsequent payment shall not be less than twenty-five per centum of the sale price, and shall in no case be less than two pesos unless the total or balance of the amounts due on all seized property in the name of the taxpayer is less than two pesos. The purchaser may occupy the property after paying the first installment, and the usual taxes on the property shall be payable in the year following that in which the sale took place. Any failure of the purchaser to pay the total price of the sale within twelve months from the date thereof, shall be sufficient ground for its cancellation, and any part payment made shall revert to the city government and if the purchaser has taken possession of the property he shall forthwith surrender the same to the city government. In case the purchaser should fail to relinquish possession of the property, the city treasurer or his deputy shall immediately take steps to eject the tenants or occupants of the property, in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Section forty-six of this Act. The city treasurer or his deputy shall make a report of the sale to the City Mayor and City Council within five days after the sale and shall make the same appear on its records. The purchaser at this sale shall receive from the city treasurer or his deputy a certificate showing the proceedings of the sale, describing the property sold, stating the name of the purchaser, the sale price, the amount of the taxes and penalties.

Sec. 50.    Redemption of real estate after sale. — Within one year from and after the date of sale, the delinquent taxpayer or any other person in his behalf, shall have the right to redeem the property sold by paying to the city treasurer or his deputy the amount of the taxes, penalties, costs and interest at the rate of twelve per centum per annum of the purchase price, if paid in whole, or of any portion thereof as may have been paid by the purchaser, and such payment shall invalidate the certificate of sale issued to the purchaser, if any, and shall entitle the person making such payment to a certificate to be issued by the city treasurer or his deputy, stating that he has thus redeemed the property, and the city treasurer or his deputy upon the return by the purchaser of the certificates of sale previously issued to him, shall forthwith refund to the purchaser the entire sum paid by him with interest at twelve per centum per annum, as provided for herein, and such property shall thereafter be free from the lien of such taxes and penalties.

Sec. 51.    Execution of deed of final sale. — In case the delinquent taxpayer shall not redeem the property sold as herein provided within one year from the date of the sale, and the purchaser shall then have paid the total purchase price, the city treasurer, as grantor, shall execute a deed in form and effect sufficient to convey to the purchaser so much of the real estate against which the taxes have been assessed as has been sold, free from all the liens or encumbrances of any kind whatsoever, and said deed shall succinctly recite all the proceedings upon which the validity of the sale depends. Any balance remaining from the proceeds of the sale after deducting the amount of the taxes and penalties due, and the costs, if any, shall be returned to the original owner or his representatives.

Sec. 52.    Taxes and penalties which shall be paid upon redemption or repurchase. — The taxes and penalties to be paid by way of redemption or repurchase, shall comprise in all cases only the original tax by virtue of the failure to pay which the seizure was made and its incidental penalties, up to the forfeiture of the real estate to the government.  

Sec. 53.    Taxes — Legal procedure. — (a) The assessment of a tax shall constitute a lawful indebtedness of the taxpayer to the City which may be enforced by a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, and this remedy shall be in addition to all remedies provided by law.

(b)    No court shall entertain any suit assailing the validity of a tax assessed under this Charter until the taxpayer shall have paid, under protest, the taxes assessed against him, nor shall any court declare any tax invalid by reason of irregularities or informalities in the proceedings of the officers charged with the assessment or collection of the taxes or of a failure to perform their duties within the time specified for their performance, unless such irregularities, informalities, or failure shall have impaired the substantial rights of the taxpayer.

(c)    No court shall entertain any suit assailing the validity of the tax sale of land under this Charter until the taxpayer shall have paid into the court the amount for which the land was sold, together with interest at the rate of fifteen per centum per annum upon the sum from the date of sale to the time of instituting the suit. The money so paid into the court shall belong and shall be delivered to the purchaser at the tax sale, if the deed is declared invalid, and shall be returned to the depositor, should he fail in his action.

(d)    No court shall declare any such sale invalid by reason of any irregularities of informalities in the proceedings of the officers charged with the duty of making the sale, or by reason of failure by him to perform his duties within the time herein specified for their performance, unless such irregularities, informalities, or failure shall have impaired the substantial rights of the taxpayer.

ARTICLE IX
Tax Allotment and Special Assessment for Public Improvements

Sec. 54.    Allotment of internal revenue and other taxes. — Of the internal revenue accruing to the National Treasury under Chapter II, Title XII of Commonwealth Act Numbered Four hundred and sixty-six, and other taxes collected by the National Government and allotted to the various provinces, as well as the national aid for schools, the City of Puerto Princesa shall receive a share equal to what it would receive if it were a regularly organized province.

Sec. 55.    Power to levy special assessment for certain purposes. — The City Council may, by ordinance, provide for the levying and collection, by special assessment of the lands comprised within the district or section of the city specially benefited, of a part not to exceed sixty per centum of the cost of laying out, opening, constructing, straightening, widening, extending, grading, paving, curbing, walling, deepening, or otherwise establishing, repairing, enlarging, or improving public avenues, roads, streets, alleys, sidewalks, parks, plazas, bridges, landing places, wharves, piers, docks, levees, reservoir, waterworks, watermains, water courses, esteros, canals, drains, and sewers, including the cost of acquiring the necessary land and public improvements thereon, as hereinafter provided.

In case of national public works, the City Council as an agency of the National Government shall, when the President of the Philippines so direct it, provide for the levying and collection by special assessment of the lands within the section or district of the city specially benefited of the cost or part thereof to be determined by the President, of laying out, opening, constructing, straightening, widening, extending, grading, paving, curbing, walling or deepening or otherwise repairing, enlarging, or improving national roads and other national public works within the city, including the cost of acquiring the necessary land and improvements therein.  

Sec. 56.    Property subject to special assessment. — All lands comprised within the district, or section benefited, except those owned by the Republic of the Philippines shall be subject to the payment of special assessment.

Sec. 57.    Basis of apportionment. — The amount of special assessment shall be apportioned and computed according to the assessed valuations of such lands as shown in the books of the city assessor. If the property has not been declared for taxation purposes, the city assessor shall immediately declare it for the owner and assess its value, and such value shall be the basis of the apportionment and computation of the special assessment due thereon.

Sec. 58.    Ordinance levying special assessment. — The ordinance providing for the levying and collection of a special assessment shall describe with reasonable accuracy the nature, extent, and location of the work to be undertaken; the probable cost of the work; the percentage of the cost to be defrayed by special assessment; the district or section which shall be subject to the payment of the special assessment the limits whereof shall be stated by metes and bounds if practicable, and by other reasonably accurate means if otherwise, and the period, which shall not be less than five nor more than ten years, in which said special assessment shall be payable without interest. One uniform rate per centum for all lands in the entire district or section subject to the payment of all the special assessment need not be established; but different rates for different parts or sections of the city according as said property will derive greater or less benefit from the proposed work, may be fixed. It shall be the duty of the city engineer to make the plans, specifications and estimates of the public works contemplated to be undertaken.

Sec. 59.    Publication of proposed ordinance levying special assessment. — The proposed special assessment ordinance shall be published, with a list of owners of the lands affected thereby, once a week for four consecutive weeks in any newspaper published in the City, one in English, one in Pilipino,, and one in the local dialect if there by any , and in default of such local paper, in any newspaper of general circulation in the city. The said ordinance in English, Pilipino, and the local dialect shall also be posted in places where the public notices are generally posted in the city and also in the district or section where the public improvement is constructed or contemplated to be constructed.

The Secretary of the City Council shall, on application, furnish a copy of the proposed ordinance to each landowner affected, or his agent, and shall, if possible send to all of them copies of said proposed ordinance by ordinary mail or otherwise.

Sec. 60.    Protest against special assessment. — Not later than ten days after the last publication of the ordinance and list of landowners, as provided in the preceding section, the landowners affected, if they compose a majority and represent more than one-half of the total assessed value of said lands, may file with the City Council a protest against the enactment of the ordinance. The protest shall be duly signed by them and shall set forth the addresses of the signers and the arguments in support of their objection or protest against the special assessment established in the ordinance. If no protest is filed within the time and under the condition above specified, the ordinance shall be considered approved as published.  

Sec. 61.    Hearing protest. — The City Council shall designate a date and place for the hearing of the protest filed in accordance with the next preceding section and shall give reasonable time to all the protestants who have give reasonable time to all the protestants who have given their addresses and to all landowners affected by any protest or protests and shall order the publication once a week, during two consecutive weeks, of a notice of the place and date of the hearing in the same manner herein provided for the publication of the proposed special assessment ordinance. All pertinent arguments and evidence presented by the landowners interested or their attorney shall be attached to the proper records. After the hearing, the City Council shall either modify its ordinance or approve it in toto and send notice of its decision to all interested parties who have given their addresses, and shall order the publication of the ordinance as approved finally together with a list of the owners of the parcels of land affected by the special assessment, three times weekly, for two consecutive weeks, in the same manner hereinabove prescribed. The ordinance finally passed by said body shall be sent to the Mayor with all the papers pertaining thereto, for his approval or veto as in the case of other city ordinances. If the Mayor approves it, the ordinance shall be punished as above provided, but if he vetoes it, the procedure in similar cases provided in this Act shall be observed.

Sec. 62.    When ordinance is to take effect. — Upon the expiration of thirty days from the date of the last publication of the ordinance as finally approved, the same shall be effective in all respect, if no appeal therefrom is taken to the proper authorities in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

Sec. 63.    Appeals. — Any time before the ordinance providing for the levying and collection of special assessment becomes effective in accordance with the preceding section, appeals from such special assessment may be filed with the President of the Philippines, in the case of public works undertaken by the National Government, and the Secretary of Finance in the case of public works undertaken or contemplated to be undertaken by the city. In all cases, the appeal shall be in writing and signed by at least a majority of the owners of the lands situated in the special assessment zone representing more than one-half of the total assessed value of the lands affected. The appellant or appellants shall immediately give the Board a written notice of appeal, and the secretary of said Board shall, within ten days after receipt of the notice of appeal, forward to the officer who has jurisdiction to decide the appeal an excerpt from the minutes of the Board relative to the proposed special assessment and all the documents in connection therewith.

Sec. 64.    Declaration of the Appeal. — Only appeals made within the time and in the manner prescribed in this Act shall be entertained, and the officer to whom the appeal is made may call for further hearing or decide the same in accordance with its merits as shown in the papers or documents submitted to him. All appeals shall be decided within sixty days after receipt by the appellate officer of the docket of the case, and such decision shall be final.

Sec. 65.    Fixing of amount of special assessment. — As soon as the ordinance is in full force and effect, the city treasurer shall determine the amount of the special assessment which the owner of each parcel of land comprised within the zone described in the ordinance levying the same is to pay each year during the prescribed period, and shall send to each of such landowners a written notice thereof by ordinary mail. If upon completion of the public works it should appear that the actual cost thereof is smaller or greater than the estimated cost, the city treasurer shall without delay proceed to correct the assessment by increasing or decreasing, as the case may be, the amount of the unpaid annual installments which are still to be collected from each landowners affected, and in all cases, he shall give notice of such rectifications to the parties interested.

Sec. 66.    Payment of special assessment. — All sums due from any landowner or owners as the result of any action taken pursuant to this Act shall be payable to the city treasurer in the same manner as the annual ordinary tax levied upon real property, and shall be subject to the same penalties for delinquency and be enforced by the same means as said annual ordinary tax; and all said sums together with any of said penalties shall, from the dates on which they are assessed, constitute special lien on said land, with the sole exception of the lien for the nonpayment of the ordinary real property tax. If, upon recomputation of the amount of special assessment in accordance with the next preceding section, it appears that the landowners has paid more than what is correctly due from him, the amount paid in excess shall be refunded to him immediately upon demand; in the other case, the landowner shall have one year within which to pay without penalty the amount still due from him. Said period shall be counted from the date the landowner receive the proper notice.  

Sec. 67.    Disposition of proceeds. — The proceeds of the special assessment and penalties thereon shall be applied exclusively to the purpose or purposes for which the assessments were levied. It shall be the duty of the city treasurer to turn over to the national treasury all collections made by him from special assessment levied from national public works.

ARTICLE X
 The City Budget

Sec. 68.    Annual Budget. — At least four months before the beginning of each fiscal year, the city treasurer shall present to the mayor a certified detailed statement by department of all receipt and expenditures of the city pertaining to the preceding fiscal year, together with an estimate of the receipts and expenditures of the remainder of the current fiscal year; and he shall submit with this statement a detailed estimate of the revenues and receipts of the city from all sources for the ensuing fiscal year. Upon the receipt of this statement and estimates of department heads as required by Section eighteen of this Act, the Mayor shall formulate and submit to the City Council at least two months before the beginning of the ensuing fiscal year, a detailed budget covering the estimated necessary expenditures of the said ensuing fiscal year, which shall be the basis of the annual appropriation ordinance: Provided, however, That in no case shall the aggregate amount of such appropriation exceeds the estimate of revenues and receipts submitted by the city treasurer as provided above.

Sec. 69.    Supplemental Budget. — Supplemental budget formulated in the same manner may be adopted when special or unforeseen circumstances make such action necessary.

Sec. 70.    Failure to enact an appropriation ordinance. — Whenever the Council fails to enact the appropriation ordinance for any fiscal year before the end of the previous fiscal year, the several sums appropriated in the last appropriation ordinance for the objects and purposes therein specified, so far as they may be done, shall be deemed to be reappropriated for the several objects and purposes specified in said last appropriation ordinance, and shall go into effect on the first day of the new fiscal year as the appropriation ordinance for that fiscal year until a new appropriation ordinance is duly enacted.

ARTICLE XI
 Engineering and Public Works Department

Sec. 71.    The city engineer. — There shall be city engineer who shall have charge of the engineering and public works department. He shall receive a salary of not less than nine thousand pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Four thousand four hundred seventy-seven. He shall have the following duties and powers:

(a)    Have charge of all the surveying and engineering work of the City, and shall perform such service in connection with public improvements, or any work entered upon or proposed by the City, or any department thereof, as may require the skill and experience of a Civil Engineer.

(b)    Ascertain, record and establish monuments of the survey and from thence extend the survey of the City, and locate, establish, and survey all City and district property, and also private property abutting on the same, whenever directed by the City Mayor.

(c)    Prepare and submit plans, maps, specifications, and estimates for buildings, streets, bridges, docks, and other public works, and supervise the construction and repair of the same.  

(d)    Make such tests and inspection of engineering materials used in construction and repair as may be necessary to protect the City from the use of materials of a poor or dangerous quality.

(e)    Have the care of all public buildings, when erected, including markets and slaughterhouses and all buildings rented for city purposes, and of any system now or hereafter established by the City for lightning of streets, public places, or public buildings.

(f)    Have the care of all public streets, parks and bridges, and shall maintain and regulate the use of the same for all purposes provided for by ordinance or law; shall collect and dispose of all garbage, refuse, the contents of closets, vaults, and cesspools, and all other offensive and dangerous substances within the city and, in the event the disposal and collection of such garbage, refuse and other offensive substances has been awarded to a private contractor, the disposal and collection thereof shall be under the supervision of the city engineer.

(g)    Have the care and custody of all public docks, wharves, piers, levees, and landing places of the City.

(h)    Prevent the encroachment of private buildings and fences on the streets and public places of the City.

(i)    Have the general supervision and inspection of all private docks, wharves, levees, piers, and landing places, and other property bordering on the harbor, river, esteros, and waterways of the City, and shall issue permits for the construction, repair and removal of the same and enforce all ordinances relating to the same.

(j)    Have the care and custody of the public system of waterways and sewers, and all sources of water supply, and shall control, maintain, and regulate the use of the same, in accordance with the ordinance relating thereto; shall inspect and regulate the use of all private systems for supplying water to the city and its inhabitants, and all private sewers and their connections with the public sewers system.

(k)    Have the supervision of the laying of mains and connections for the purpose of supplying gas to the inhabitants of the city.

(l)    Inspect and report upon the conditions of public property and public works whenever required by the City Mayor or the Secretary of Public Works and Communications.

(m)    Supervise and regulate the location and use of engines, boilers, forges, and other manufacturing and heating appliances in accordance with law and ordinance relating thereto. He is authorized to charge fees, at rates to be fixed by the City Council, for the sanitation and transportation services and supplies furnished by his department.

(n)    Inspect and supervise the construction, repair, removal, and safety of private buildings, and regulate and enforce the numbering of houses in accordance with the ordinances of the city.

(o)    With the previous approval of the City Mayor in each case, he shall order the removal of buildings and structures erected in violation of the ordinances; shall order the removal of materials employed in the construction or repair of any building or structure made in violation of said ordinances; and shall cause buildings and structures dangerous to the public to be made secure or torn down.

(p)    File and preserve all maps, plans, notes surveys and other papers and documents pertaining to his office.  

Sec. 72.    Execution of authorized public works and improvements. — All repair or construction of any work or public improvements, except parks, boulevards, streets, or alleys, involving an estimated cost of five thousand pesos or more shall be awarded by the City Mayor upon the recommendation of the city engineer to the lowest responsible bidder after public advertisement by posting notices of the call for bids in conspicuous places in the City Hall and by publication in the Official Gazette, both for not less than ten days: Provided, however, That the city engineer may with the approval of the President of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, execute by administration any such public works costing five thousand pesos or more.

In case public works involving an expenditure of less than five thousand pesos, it shall be discretionary with the city engineer upon approval of the City Mayor whether to proceed with the work himself or to let the contract to the lowest bidder after such publications and notice as shall be deemed appropriate or as may be, by regulations prescribed.

ARTICLE XII
 Law Department

Sec. 73.    The City Attorney. — His powers and duties. — There shall be a City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney who shall be the chief and assistant chief of the law department. The City Attorney and the Assistant City Attorney shall receive a compensation provided for by existing laws. The City Fiscal shall act as the City Attorney until the City Council, by ordinance, provide otherwise, at which the City Attorney shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Personally or through any assistant, represent the city in all civil cases wherein the city or any officer thereof, in his official capacity, is a party; and shall prosecute and defend all civil action related to or connected with any city officer or interest.

(b)    Institute and prosecute in the city's interest a suit on any bond, lease, or contract, and upon any breach or violation thereof, when directed by the Mayor.

(c)    Attend meetings of the Board, draw ordinances, contracts, bonds, leases, and other instruments involving any interest of the city and inspect and pass upon any such instruments already drawn, when requested.

(d)    Give his opinion in writing, when requested by the Mayor or the Board or any of the heads of the city departments, upon any question relating to the city or the rights or duties of any city officer thereof.

(e)    Investigate or cause the same to be investigated and report to the Mayor, whenever it is brought to his knowledge that any city officer or employee is guilty of neglect of misconduct in office, or that any person, firm or corporation holding or exercising any franchise of public privilege from the city, has failed to comply with any condition, or to pay consideration mentioned in the grant of such franchise or privilege.

(f)    Exercise and perform such other duties or powers as may be provided for by ordinance or law.

ARTICLE XIII
 Prosecution Department

Sec. 74.    The City Fiscal. — His powers and duties. — There shall be a City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal who shall be the chief and assistant chief of the prosecution department, and who shall discharge their duties under the general supervision of the Secretary of Justice. The City Fiscal shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Have charge of the prosecution of all crimes, misdemeanors, and violations of laws and city ordinances, triable in the city court or the Court of First Instance and shall discharge all the duties in respect to criminal prosecutions as are enjoined by law upon provincial fiscals.  

(b)    Orders the investigation of all charges of crimes, misdemeanors and violations of law and city ordinances brought to his knowledge, and to have the necessary informations or complaints prepared or made against the accused. He or any of his assistants may conduct such investigations by taking oral evidence of reputed witnesses, and for this purpose may issue subpoena to summon witnesses to appear and testify under oath before him, and subpoena duces tecum for the production of documents and other evidence. The attendance of an absent or recalcitrant witness may be enforced by application for a warrant of arrest to the city court or to the Court of First Instance.

(c)    Order the investigation of the cause of sudden deaths which have not been satisfactorily explained and when there is suspicion that the cause arose from the unlawful acts or omissions of other persons, or from foul play. For that purpose, he may cause autopsies to be made in case it is deemed necessary and shall be entitled to demand and receive for the purpose of such investigation or autopsies the aid of the city health officer, or, subject to the rules and conditions previously established by the Secretary of Justice, that of the medico-legal section of the National Bureau of Investigation. In case the city fiscal deems it necessary to have further expert assistance for the satisfactory performance of his duties in relation with medico-legal matters or knowledge, including the giving of medical testimony in the courts of justice, he shall request the same, in the same manner and subject to the rules and conditions as above specified, from the medico-legal officer of the said Bureau who shall thereupon furnish the assistance required, in accordance with his powers and facilities.

(d)    Render at all times such official services as the Mayor or the city Council may require, and shall have such powers and perform such duties as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

(e)    Perform the duties prescribed by law for register of deeds.

Sec. 75.    Compensation of City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal. — The City Fiscal and Assistant City Fiscal shall receive each a salary in accordance with the existing law which shall be paid by the city.

ARTICLE XIV
 Health Department

Sec. 76.    The City Health Officer. — There shall be a City Health Officer who shall have charge of the health department and shall receive a salary of no less than eight thousand pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered four thousand four hundred seventy-seven, one half of which shall be paid by the National Government. He shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Have general supervision over the health and sanity conditions of the city, including the cleaning of crematories, cemeteries, stockyards, slaughterhouses, and markets.

(b)    Execute and enforce all laws, ordinances and regulations relating to the public health.

(c)    Recommend to the City Council the passage of such ordinance as he may deem necessary for the preservation of the public health.

(d)    Cause to be prosecuted all violations of sanity laws, ordinances or regulations.

(e)    Make sanitary inspections and may be aided therein by such members of the police force of the city as shall be designated as sanitary police by the chief of Police.

(f)    Keep a civil register for the city and shall record therein all births, marriages and deaths with their respective dates.  

(g)    Have control and supervision over puericulture centers and social services of the city.

(h)    Perform such other duties, not repugnant to law or ordinance, with reference to the health and sanitation of the city as the Director of Health Services shall direct.

ARTICLE XV
 Police Department

Sec. 77.    The Chief of Police. — There shall be a Chief of Police who shall have charge of the police department and shall receive a salary of no less than nine thousand pesos per annum in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act Numbered four thousand four hundred seventy seven. No person shall be appointed as Chief of Police unless he is or has been a regular or reserve officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with a minimum rank of captain, or possessing the corresponding civil service eligibility for said position. He shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Issue supplementary regulations not incompatible with law or general regulations promulgated by the proper department head of the National Government in accordance with law, for the government of the city police and detective force.

(b)    Quell riots, disorders, disturbances of the peace, and shall arrest and prosecute through the city fiscal, violators of law or ordinance. Shall exercise exclusive police supervision over all land and water within the police jurisdiction of the city; shall be charged with the protection of the rights of persons and property wherever found within the jurisdiction of the city, and shall arrest, when necessary to prevent the escape of, offenders and violators of any law or ordinance, and all who obstruct or interfere with him in the discharge of his duty; shall have charge of the city prison; and shall be responsible for the safekeeping of all prisoners until they shall be released from custody, in accordance with law, or delivered to the warden of the proper prison or penitentiary.

(c)    Take good and sufficient bail for the appearance before the judge of the city court of any person arrested for violation of any city ordinance; Provided, however, That he shall not exercise this power in cases of violations of any penal law, except when the fiscal of the city shall so recommend and fix the bail to be required of the person arrested.

(d)    Have authority, within the police limits of the city, to serve and execute criminal processes of any court.

(e)    Be the deputy sheriff of the city, and as such he shall, personally or by representative, attend the sessions of the city court, and shall execute promptly and faithfully, all writs and processes of said court.

(f)    Exercise supervision over the police training school established in accordance with the rules and regulations of the police department.

(g)    Have such further powers and perform such further duties as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

Sec. 78.    Secret service. — The Chief of Police shall be ex-officio chief of the secret service. He shall take charge of the detective work of the department and of the detective force of the city, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by law or ordinance.  

Sec. 79.    Peace Officer. — Their powers and duties. — The City Mayor, the Chief of Police, and all officers and members of the city police and detective force shall be the peace officers of the City. Such peace officers are authorized to serve and execute all processes of the city court and criminal processes of all other courts to whomsoever directed within the police limits as hereinbefore defined; within the same territory, to pursue and arrest, without warrant, any person found in suspicious places or under suspicious circumstances reasonably tending to show that such person has committed, or is about to commit a crime or breach of the peace; to arrest or cause to be arrested, without warrant, any offender when the offense is committed in the presence of a peace officer or within his view; and, in such pursuit or arrest, to enter any building, ship, boat, or vessel to take into custody any person therein suspected of being concerned in such crime or breach of the peace, and any property suspected of having been stolen and to exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by law or ordinance. They shall detain an arrested person only in accordance with the provisions of existing laws relative to such detention. Whenever the City Mayor shall deem it necessary to avert danger or to protect life and property, in case of riot, disturbance, or public calamity, or when he has reason to fear any serious violation of law and order, he may call upon the provincial commander or other members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Except upon the occurrence of any such conditions, police jurisdiction and supervision and the preservation of peace and order shall pertain exclusively to the peace officers herein mentioned, existing law to the contrary notwithstanding .

ARTICLE XVI
 Fire Department

Sec. 80.    Chief of Fire Department. — There shall be a chief of Fire Department who shall have the management and control of all matters relating to the administration, organization, government, discipline, and disposition of the fire forces. He shall receive a salary in accordance with the existing law. The Chief of Police shall act as the ex-officio Chief of Fire Department until the City Council, by ordinance, provided otherwise, at which the Chief of Fire Department shall be appointed as heretofore provided. He shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)    Issue supplementary regulations not incompatible with law or general regulations issued by the proper department head and the National Government in accordance with law, for the governance of the fire force.

(b)    Have charge of the fire-engine houses, the fire engines, hose trucks, hooks and ladders, trucks and other fire apparatus.

(c)    Have the full police powers in the vicinity of fires.

(d)    Have authority to remove or demolish any building or other property whenever it shall become necessary to prevent the spreading of fire or to protect adjacent property.  

(e)    Have charge of the city telegraph, telephone and fire alarm service.

(f)    Investigate and report to the City Mayor upon the origin and cause of all fires occurring within the city.

(g)    Inspect all buildings erected or under construction or repair within the city and determine whether they provide sufficient protection against fire and comply with the ordinances relating thereto.

(h)    Have exclusive power, notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, to supervise and regulate the stringing, grounding, and installation of wires for all electrical connections with a view to avoiding conflagrations, interference with public traffic or safety or the necessary operation of the fire department.

(i)    Condemn all defective electrical installation and shall take the necessary steps to effect immediate corrective actions, informing the City Mayor of the action thus taken.

(j)    Supervise the manufacture, storage, and use of petroleum, gas, acetylene, gunpowder, and other highly combustible matter and explosives.

(k)    Deny the issuance of a permit for the construction or repair of buildings within the city unless the plans relative thereto have his approval. He shall have the power to alter or disapprove such plans as do not provide for adequate protection against the occurrence of fires.

(l)    Have such powers and perform such duties as may further be prescribed by law or ordinance.

ARTICLE XVII
 The City Court

Sec. 81.    Regular, auxiliary and acting judges of city courts. — There shall be a city court for the City of Puerto Princesa for which there shall be appointed a city judge and an auxiliary city judge.

The auxiliary city judge shall discharge the duties of the city judge in case of absence, incapacity or inability of the latter until he assumes his post, or until a new judge shall have been appointed. During his incumbency, the auxiliary city judge shall enjoy the powers, emoluments and privileges of the city judge who shall not receive any remuneration therefor except the salary which he is entitled by reason of his vacation provided for in this Act.  

In case of absence, incapacity or inability of both the city judge and the auxiliary city judge, the Secretary of Justice shall designate the municipal judge, of any of the adjoining municipalities to preside over the city court, and he shall hold office temporarily until the regular incumbent or the auxiliary city judge thereof shall have resumed office or until another judge shall have been appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act. The municipal judge so designated shall receive his salary as municipal judge plus seventy per cent of the salary of the city judge whose office he has temporarily assumed.

The city judge shall receive a salary of not less than eleven thousand pesos per annum to be paid by the National Government.

Sec. 82.    The clerk and employees of the city court. — There shall be a clerk of the city court who shall be appointed by the city judge in accordance with Civil Service Law, rules and regulations, and who shall receive a compensation to be fixed by ordinance, approved by the Secretary of Justice at not less than three thousand pesos per annum. He shall keep the seal of the court and affix it to all orders, judgments, certificates, records, and other documents issued by the court, in which he shall record in a summary manner the names of the parties and the various proceedings in civil cases, and in criminal cases, the names of the witnesses, the date of the arrest, the appearance of the defendant, together with the fines and costs adjudged or collected in accordance with the judgment. He shall have the power to administer oaths.

Sec. 83.    Jurisdiction of city court. — The city court shall have same jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases and the same incidental powers as are at present conferred upon them by law. It shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of First Instance over all criminal cases arising under the laws relating to gambling and management of lotteries, to assault where the intent to kill is not charged or evident upon the trial, to larceny, embezzlement and estafa where the amount of money or property stolen, embezzled or otherwise involved does not exceed the sum or value of two hundred pesos, to the sale of intoxicating liquors, to falsely impersonating an officer, to malicious mischief, to trespass on government or private property, and to threatening to take human life. It may also conduct a preliminary investigation for any offense, without regard to the limits of punishment, and may release, or commit and bind over any person charged with such offense to secure his appearance before the proper court.

Sec. 84.    Incidental powers of city court. — The city court shall have power to administer oaths and to give certificate thereof; to issue summonses, writs, warrants, executions and all other processes necessary to enforce its orders and judgment, to compel the attendance of witnesses; to punish contempt of court by fine or imprisonment, or both, within the limitations imposed by law to require of any person arrested a bond for good behaviour or to keep the peace, or for further appearance of such person before a court of competent jurisdiction. But no such bond shall be accepted unless it be executed by the person in whose behalf it is made with sufficient surety or sureties to be approved by said court.  

Sec. 85.    Procedure in city court in prosecution for violations of law and ordinance. — In a prosecution for the violation of any ordinance, the first process shall be a summons except that a warrant for the arrest of the offender may be issued in the first instance upon the affidavit of any person that such ordinance has been violated, and that the person making the complaint has reasonable grounds to believe that the party charged is guilty thereof, which warrant shall conclude: "Against the ordinances of the city in such cases made and provided". All proceedings and prosecution for offenses against the laws of the Philippines shall conform to the rules relating to process, pleadings, practice and procedure for the judiciary of the Philippines, and such rules shall govern the city court and its officers in all cases insofar as the same may be applicable.

Sec. 86.    Costs, fees, fines, and forfeitures in city court. — There shall be taxed against and collected from the defendant, in case of his conviction in the city court such cost and fees as may be prescribed by law in criminal cases in municipal courts. All costs, fees, fines, and forfeitures shall be collected by the clerk of court, who shall keep a docket of those imposed and of those collected, and shall pay collections of the same to the city treasurer, for the benefit of the city, on the next business day after the same are collected, and take receipts therefor. The city judge shall examine said docket each day, compare the same with the amount receipted for by the city treasurer and satisfy himself that all such costs, fees, fines and forfeitures have been duly accounted for.

Sec. 87.    Procedure on appeal from city court to Court of First Instance. — An appeal shall lie to the court of First Instance in all cases where fine or imprisonment, or both, is imposed by the city court. The party desiring to appeal shall, before six o'clock post meridian of the fifteenth day after the rendition and entry of the judgment by the city court, file with the clerk of court a written statement that he appeals to the Court of First Instance. The filing of such statement shall perfect the appeal. The judge of the court from whose decision appeal is taken, shall within five days after the appeal is taken, transmit to the clerk of the Court of First Instance a certified copy of the record of proceedings and all the original papers and processes in the case. A perfected appeal shall operate to vacate the judgment of the city court, and the action, where duly entered in the Court of First Instance, shall stand for trial de novo upon its merits as though the same had never been tried. Pending an appeal, the defendant shall remain in custody unless released in the discretion of the judge of the city court or of the judge of the Court of First Instance, upon sufficient bail in accordance with the procedure in force, to await the judgment of the appellate court.

Appeals in civil cases shall be governed by the ordinary procedures established by law.

ARTICLE XVIII
Transitory Provisions

Sec. 88.    Change of Status. — The city government as provided for in this Charter shall be organized upon the effectivity of this Act. The incumbent municipal mayor, vice-mayor and the members of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall continue in Office until the expiration of their present terms of office. Likewise, the incumbent municipal treasurer, municipal judge, municipal chief of police, and municipal health officer of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall assume the position of city treasurer, city judge, city chief of police, and city health officer, respectively, as provided for in this Chapter.

Sec. 89.    Participation in the election of provincial officials. — The qualified voters of the City of Puerto Princesa shall be qualified and be entitled to vote in the election of Provincial Governor, Provincial Vice-Governor, and members of the Provincial Board of the Province of Palawan.

Sec. 90.    Congressional District. — Until otherwise provided by law, the City of Puerto Princesa shall continue as part of the lone congressional district of the Province of Palawan.  

Sec. 91.    Repealing Clause. — All Acts, executive orders and proclamations or part thereof inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

Sec. 92.    Ownership of waterworks, electric light and power, and telephone system, roads, streets, lands of public domain, etc. — Any provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding, all existing waterworks, electric light and power, and telephone systems, presently operated by the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall be owned by the city, and revenues therefrom shall accrue to the general fund of the city. All government streets, roads alleys and other kinds of thoroughfares, except national highways, within the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall be owned by the City.

Likewise, the National Government hereby cedes to the City of Puerto Princesa the ownership and possession to all lands of the public domain within the city.

Sec. 93.    Eligibilities of Employees. — All incumbent employees of offices of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa who are holding classified positions under permanent appointment by virtue of Republic Act Numbered Two thousand two hundred sixty and Republic Act Numbered Four thousand eight hundred sixty four shall continue to hold office in their respective City Departments and shall be eligible for reappointment in permanent status in case of adjustment in salaries and or promotion in rank provided that the employee concerned is a holder of the appropriate eligibility upon the establishment of the city.

Sec. 94.    All existing municipal ordinances of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall remain in force as City Ordinances.

Sec. 95.    Upon the establishment of the City of Puerto Princesa, all businesses and or business operators operating within the territorial boundaries of Puerto Princesa shall pay their income taxes in Puerto Princesa, any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sec. 96.    Applicability of the Local Autonomy Act and the Decentralization Act of 1976. — The provisions of Republic Act Numbered Twenty-two hundred and sixty-four, as amended, and Republic Act Numbered Fifty-one hundred and eighty-five shall apply to the city of Puerto Princesa whenever such provisions enhance its autonomy but shall not apply whenever they diminish the same.

Sec. 97.    Applicability of Revised Barrio Charter. — All barrios within the City shall continue to be governed by the Revised Barrio Charter.

Sec. 98.    Separability clause. — If any part or section of this Charter should be declared unconstitutional, such declaration shall not invalidate the other provisions hereof.

Sec. 99.    Effectivity. — This Act shall take effect on January 1, 1970 if the majority of the voters of the Municipality of Puerto Princesa shall vote for its conversion into a city as provided in this Act at a plebiscite to be held simultaneously with the general elections in November, nineteen hundred and sixty-nine.

Approved: June 21, 1969


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