COMMONWEALTH ACT No. 55

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION ONE OF ACT NUMBERED THIRTY-SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX, BY PROVIDING THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT SHALL NOT APPLY TO CASES INVOLVING LIABILITY FOR ANY TAX, DUTY, OR CHARGE COLLECTIBLE UNDER ANY LAW ADMINISTERED BY THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS OR THE BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE

Be it enacted by the National Assembly of the Philippines:

Section 1. Section one of Act Numbered Thirty-seven hundred and thirty-six is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

"SECTION 1. Construction. Any person interested under a deed, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by a statute, may bring an action in a Court of First Instance to determine any question of construction or validity arising under such deed, contract, instrument or statute and for a declaration of his rights or duties thereunder: Provided, however, That the provisions of this Act shall not apply to cases where a taxpayer questions his liability for the payment of any tax, duty, or charge collectible under any law administered by the Bureau of Customs or the Bureau of Internal Revenue."

Section 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, October 17, 1936.


      1Words in bold in the text above are amendments introduced by CA 55 to Act 3736. The Supreme Court held in the case of National Dental Supply Co. v. Meer, 90 Phil. 265-269 (1951) that the above amendments are "still in full force and effect."
      According to the Court:"the failure to incorporate the above proviso in section 1, rule 66, is not due to an intentional to repeal it but rather to the desire to leave its application to the sound discretion of the court, which is the sole arbiter to determine whether a case is a meritorious or not. And even if it be desire to incorporate it in rule 66, it is doubted if it could be done under the rule-making power of the Supreme Court considering that the nature of said proviso is substantive and not adjective, its purpose being to lay down a policy as to the right of a taxpayer to contest the collection of taxes on the part of a revenue officer or of the Government. With the adoption of said proviso, our law-making body has asserted its policy on the matter, which is to prohibit a taxpayer to question his ability for the payment of any tax that may be collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. xxx"
      The ruling in the above cited case was reiterated in the case of Rodriguez v. Blaquera, L-13941, September 30, 1960, 60 O.G. No. 11, pp. 1563-1566.


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