The city of Baguio has identified 19 properties it could buy in order to expand housing and economic opportunities. Additionally, local officials announced the acquisition of a six-hectare site in Benguet that will be utilized to achieve various goals.

No decision on which properties Baguio will purchase has been made as the local government continues to explore its options. According to reports, the price range of real estate offered to the city is from PHP13 million to PHP348 million.

“The city’s local finance committee is given up to the first week of July to make a recommendation on which among the available properties will be recommended for purchase by the local government to be used for socialized housing, employees housing and land banking initiatives that will allow the next generation of additional resources in the future,” Baguio City Assessor Maria Almaya Addawe was quoted as saying by Philippine News Agency.

The local government aims to implement a land banking strategy that can help address the very small land area of Baguio. A lack of land has made it difficult to launch social and economic activities with the increasing cost of properties in the surrounding towns of Benguet compounding issues.

Related: Land prices in Metro Manila on the move

Baguio may delay scheduled real property tax increase

A scheduled real property tax increase in Baguio could be delayed after the City Council passed a resolution asking Mayor Benjamin Magalong to not implement it as planned. Local officials have said raising real property taxes this year would add to the burden owners currently face and create potential issues for those who rent homes as well.

Increase of the tax, which is based on fair market value, is laid out under the Schedule of Market Values for Land in the City of Baguio. It covers all types of real estate, including commercial and residential. With the economy still recovering in the aftermath of COVID-19, the City Council believes now is not the time for the tax hike.

They noted that property owners would have to carry this additional burden. In the case of those owning rental homes or places like hotels, any tax increase would likely be passed on to the end user.

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