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Silvestre M. Punzalan et.al. Vs.

Municipal Board of the City of Manila


Facts
-This case is filed in the CFI of Manila by 2 lawyers, medical practitioner, CPA, dental surgeon and
pharmacist.
-They filed this in their and other professional's behalf.
-The object of the suit is their aim to nullify Ordinance No. 3398 of City of Manila, the charter
authorizing it and the refund of the taxes they paid unr protest.
-Ordinance No. 3398 was approved by the municipal board of the City of Manila on July 25, 1950. It
imposes municipal occupation tax on persons exercising various professions in the city and penalizes its
non payment Note:penalty is fine and/or imprisonment of not more than 6 mo)
-Tax amount should not exceed P50/annum.
-After the said professionals paid their occupation tax under Section 201 of the National Internal
Revenue Code, they paid the tax in the said ordinance under protest.
-Lower court upheld the validity of law authorizing it but nullify the ordinance because penalty in the
said ordinance has no legal basis.
Issue
Whether or not the ruling of lower court is correct.
Held
-Yes, the lower court erred in saying that the imposing ordinance must be nullified because penalty in
said ordinance has no legal basis.
-Manila Charter Sec 18 provides that penalties for violation of ordinances shall not exceed P2000.00 fine
or 6 mo. imprisonment or both for one single offense.
-As to the professionals' claim that the ordinance is unjust and oppressive because it creates
discrimination within a class in the sense that the professionals with Manila offices pay more taxes, SC
ruled that:
1. Since Manila is the seat of the National Government and with a population and voluminous amount of
trade compared to other Philippine city or municipality, it can be assumed that it offers a more lucrative
field for professionals. Therefore, it is only fair that professionals in Manila shall pay higher occupation
tax.
2. The contention of the professionals that professionals with Manila offices have to pay tax but
outsiders who have no office in the city but practice their profession are subject to tax is not found in
the Ordinance.
3. Finally, this case cannot be tantamount to double taxation since the first tax was imposed by the State
while the second tax was imposed by a city.
Ruling
Judgment is reversed. Ordinance No. 3398 is valid. Costs against the professionals who were the
plaintiffs-appellants in this case.