Notice of delinquency to local taxpayer

When an issue is about the notice of delinquency, Sections 176 and 178 of R.A. No. 7160 provide:
Section 176. Levy on Real Property. - After the expiration of the time required to pay the delinquent tax, fee, or charge, real property may be levied on before, simultaneously, or after the distraint of personal property belonging to the delinquent taxpayer. To this end, the provincial, city or municipal treasurer, as the case may be, shall prepare a duly authenticated certificate showing the name of the taxpayer and the amount of the tax, fee, or charge, and penalty due from him. Said certificate shall operate with the force of a legal execution throughout the Philippines. Levy shall be effected by writing upon said certificate the description of the property upon which levy is made. At the same time, written notice of the levy shall be mailed to or served upon the assessor and the Register of Deeds of the province or city where the property is located who shall annotate the levy on the tax declaration and certificate of title of the property, respectively, and the delinquent taxpayer or, if he be absent from the Philippines, to his agent or the manager of the business in respect to which the liability arose, or if there be none, to the occupant of the property in question.In case the levy on real property is not issued before or simultaneously with the warrant of distraint on personal property, and the personal property of the taxpayer is not sufficient to satisfy his delinquency, the provincial, city or municipal treasurer, as the case may be, shall within thirty (30) days after execution of the distraint, proceed with the levy on the taxpayer's real property.

A report on any levy shall, within ten (10) days after receipt of the warrant, be submitted by the levying officer to the sanggunian concerned.

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Section 178. Advertisement and Sale. - Within thirty (30) days after the levy, the local treasurer shall proceed to publicly advertise for sale or auction the property or a usable portion thereof as may be necessary to satisfy the claim and cost of sale; and such advertisement shall cover a period of at least thirty (30) days. It shall be effected by posting a notice at the main entrance of the municipal building or city hall, and in a public and conspicuous place in the barangay where the real property is located, and by publication once a week for three (3) weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, city or municipality where the property is located. The advertisement shall contain the amount of taxes, fees or charges, and penalties due thereon, and the time and place of sale, the name of the taxpayer against whom the taxes, fees, or charges are levied, and a short description of the property to be sold. At any time before the date fixed for the sale, the taxpayer may stay the proceedings by paying the taxes, fees, charges, penalties and interests. If he fails to do so, the sale shall proceed and shall be held either at the main entrance of the provincial, city or municipal building, or on the property to be sold, or at any other place as determined by the local treasurer conducting the sale and specified in the notice of sale.

Within thirty (30) days after the sale, the local treasurer or his deputy shall make a report of the sale to the sanggunian concerned, and which shall form part of his records. After consultation with the sanggunian, the local treasurer shall make and deliver to the purchaser a certificate of sale, showing the proceeding of the sale, describing the property sold, stating the name of the purchaser and setting out the exact amount of all taxes, fees, charges, and related surcharges, interests, or penalties: Provided, however, That any excess in the proceeds of the sale over the claim and cost of sales shall be turned over to the owner of the property.

The local treasurer may, by ordinance duly approved, advance an amount sufficient to defray the costs of collection by means of the remedies provided for in this Title, including the preservation or transportation in case of personal property, and the advertisement and subsequent sale, in cases of personal and real property including improvements thereon.
Evidently, it is incumbent upon the City Treasurer to convey the notice of delinquency to the taxpayer (Talusan v. Tayag, 408 Phil. 373, 388 [2001]). The strict adherence to the notice requirement in tax sales is imperative not only for the protection of the taxpayers, but also to allay any possible suspicion of collusion between the buyer and the public officials called upon to enforce such laws. (City Treasurer of Quezon City v. Court of Appeals, 347 Phil. 752, 767 (1997), citing Serfino v. Court of Appeals, 238 Phil. 17, 25 [1987]).

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