DOF: Gov’t spent P352-B for COVID-19 efforts

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 24, 2020   •   436

The Department of Finance (DOF) reported that the government has so far spent P352 billion out of the P397 billion budget to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to DOF Secretary Sonny Dominguez, the government still has “sufficient” cash. However, it cannot be used for the COVID-19 response alone.

“Sufficient po ang cash natin pero naiipit na po tayo sa budget allowance natin. Iyan po ang problema natin ngayon, may cash tayo pero wala tayong authority na gumastos nang ganoon kalaki (Our cash is sufficient, but our budget allowance limits us. That is our current problem, we have the cash, but we don’t have the authority to spend that much),” he said.

Dominguez also reported a decline in tax collection due to the COVID-19 situation. He added that the government has already used the budget collected from these taxes.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved around P76 billion loan to the Philippines as additional budget for the country’s response against the COVID-19 virus.

President Rodrigo Duterte also announced the government might temporarily suspend several Build Build Build projects to allocate it for the COVID-19 response budget.

“Tanggalan ko iyan ng mga proyekto dito sa highways. Sabihin ko kay Tugade, huwag na muna iyan para makapag-ipon (I will remove projects in highways. I will tell Tugade not to continue the projects to collect [COVID-19] funds),” he said. –AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Economic, infra clusters to hold pre-2020 SONA forum this week

Robie de Guzman   •   July 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte government’s economic development and infrastructure Cabinet clusters are set to present the administration’s plans for recovery and resilience in the face of the coronavirus-induced headwinds this year at the first pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum to be held this week.

The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the forum titled, “Regaining Momentum, Accelerating Recovery in a Post COVID-19 World,” will be held virtually on July 8.

Hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and Office of the Cabinet Secretary, the forum will be streamed live on the Facebook pages of the Radio Television Malacañang, and other government agencies.

Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II said this year’s pre-SONA forum will be different as the audience will be “purely virtual,” due to limitations on mass gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We do hope that our citizens will be able to tune in as the country’s top decision makers discuss our path to a quick and strong recovery from this crisis,” he said.

In the forum, the DOF said that top economic and infrastructure officials are also expected to report on the state of the Philippine economy, as well as the government’s ongoing efforts to leverage on its strong fundamentals in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar will present performance updates and priority plans, respectively, on the economic and infrastructure fronts.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua will speak on the Philippine Economic Recovery Program.

“The audience can expect Secretary Dominguez to delve deeper into the challenges we’re facing right now, the accomplishments in the previous year that we can build on, and the legislative proposals that the economic team submitted for Congress to consider,” Lambino said.

Meanwhile, updates on the monetary, external, and financial sectors will be discussed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Pre-SONA forums are held annually to discuss in greater detail the achievements of the government in the previous year and the priorities of the Cabinet cluster heads in the run-up to the President’s SONA on July 27.

Deadlines for filing of VAT refund claims extended anew, DOF says

Robie de Guzman   •   June 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) announced on Sunday that it has extended anew the deadlines for the filing of claims for value-added tax (VAT) refund.

In a statement on Sunday, the DOF said it has issued Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 16-2020, dated June 24, extending the deadline due to “preconceived difficulty for taxpayer-claimants to file VAT refund claims” as mobility remains restricted in some areas in the country amid the enforcement of quarantine measures against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The extended deadlines for filing of VAT refund claims are as follows:

  • Calendar quarter ending March 31, 2018 – July 15, 2020
  • Fiscal quarter ending April 30, 2018 – July 31, 2020
  • Fiscal quarter ending May 31, 2018 – August 15, 2020
  • Calendar quarter ending June 30, 2018 – August 31, 2020

However, the finance department clarified that these extended deadlines will not apply to areas that are not yet under general community quarantine (GCQ).

For taxpayer-claimants in areas that have yet to transition to GCQ, the DOF said that the deadline shall be 30 days from the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the affected areas, or the above stated deadlines, whichever comes later.

In areas under ECQ or MECQ, the implementation of the 90-day period for processing VAT refund claims is suspended, the DOF said.

Online sellers, maaaring makakakuha ng benepisyo kung magpaparehistro – DOF

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Pinawi ng Department of Finance (DOF) ang pangamba ng ilang online sellers hinggil sa panawagan ng Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) na ipa-rehistro ang kanilang negosyo hanggang July 31.

Ayon sa DOF, hindi dapat matakot ang online sellers dahil may maganda namang epekto sa pagpapatakbo ng negosyo ang pagpaparehistro nito.

Ayon kay DOF Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II, kung lehitimo at rehistrado sa BIR ang isang online seller ay maaari silang makakuha ng benepisyo mula sa pamahalaan.

Kabilang aniya rito ang loan application na may mababang interes na alok ng Department of Trade and Industry, pati na ang wage subsidy program ng DOF para sa mga empleyado ng maliliit na negosyo.

Binigyang-diin rin ni Lambino na hindi pagbabayarin ng buwis ang maliliit na online sellers o kumikita ng mas mababa sa P250,000 sa loob ng isang taon.

Sa halip, nais lamang ng pamahalaan na maipatupad ng tama ang mga probisyong nakasaad sa Internal Revenue Code ng bansa.

“It is not only a requirement and an act of good citizenship it also comes with benefits… Hindi po natin layunin na habulin ang lahat ng nga online seller para sa mga taxes. Ang gusto lang po talaga natin masunod ang batas that is actually applicable to all na nagnenegosyo,” ani Lambino.

Una nang sinabi ng DTI na bukod sa pagpapaibayo sa consumer protection, malaking tulong rin ang registration ng online sellers para sa binabalangkas na electronic commerce (eCommerce) road map ng pamahalaan.

Ayon sa DTI, mas mainam na may database ang online sellers upang mabigyan sila ng boses at maisama sa konsultasyon pati na rin sa implementasyon ng eCommerce programs.

Payo sa online sellers na magpaparehistro, pumunta lang sa pinakamalapit na BIR office sa kanilang lugar dala ang mga sumusunod na requirement:

  • Valid government IDs
  • Certificate of Business Name Registration na makukuha sa DTI
  • P500 para sa processing fee
  • P30 para sa documentary stamp tax

Paalala ng BIR, hindi na kailangang kumuha ng Mayor’s permit para sa registration ng online sellers.

Maaaring makuha sa mismong araw ng aplikasyon ang Certificate of Registration mula sa BIR.

Hanggang July 31 puwedeng magpa-rehistro ang online sellers sa BIR pero wala namang ipapataw na penalty kung mahuhuli sa deadline.

Babala naman ng ahensya, maaaring pagmultahin ang online sellers na hindi magpaparehistro, lalo na ang malalaking online services na kumikita ng mahigit sa P250,000 kada taon.

Kapag nahuli ka magbabayad ka ng penalty kasi patuloy kang nagnenegosyo hindi ka nagrerehistro… Bawal po ‘yun, kailangan magrehistro ka at magbayad ka ng buwis,” ani BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

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