G.R. No. 241302, February 01, 2021
CE Casecnan, an independent power producer (IPP) entered into a build-operate-transfer contract with National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a GOCC to deliver to Pantabangan Reservoir all water diverted from the Casecnan Watershed and all net electrical energy generated by the project. Provincial Assessor’s Office informed CE Casecnan of the initial appraisal and assessment of the properties for real property tax (RPT) due. CE Casecnan endorsed the letter to NIA because their agreement provides that all fees paid to the government shall be for the account of NIA. However, NIA did not give any instructions to CE Casecnan regarding the same and instead filed its Protest to the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (LBAA) of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya. LBAA denied the protest filed by NIA.
The Office of the Provincial Treasurer of the Province of Nueva Vizcaya issued a Final Demand addressed to CE Casecnan for the payment of RPT. For failure of NIA to respond to CE Casecnan, the latter paid the RPT delinquency under protest. CE Casecnan sent an invoice to NIA and demanded reimbursement of the amount paid invoking the provisions of their earlier Agreements.