Duterte pitches for gross taxation to address corruption in gov’t
Robie de Guzman • September 13, 2019 • 738
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing for the use of gross taxation system over net tax collection in a bid to eliminate corruption in the government.
Duterte floated the idea on Thursday, saying the adoption of gross taxation system would significantly reduce corruption, starting in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The president previously made mention of this proposal during a media interview in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“Pag gross, wala na. ‘Yang mga examiner, wala nang trabaho ‘yan. Dito ka sa neto eh kasi may mga ano, bayaran, exemption ganun,” he said.
“Kung sinsero talaga kayo and you are on my side to stop corruption, if media would really help government and the Filipino people, all you have to do — tayong lahat, we agitate Congress, gross na tayo,” he added.
The president, however, did not elaborate on how the suggestion will be implemented.
Gross income tax is a tax assessed against the money somebody earns and is applicable to income from a job, as well as to funds that are set aside in an estate or trust.
While net taxes, are levied on production less subsidies received. It also paid to the government less transfer payments.
Net taxes are a simple version of a checkbook balance for governments as they measure the inflows and outflows of the state’s tax activities.
Duterte said that the need for examiners will be eliminated if the computation system of corporate taxes will be changed.
“I guarantee you, ‘pag pumunta tayo ng gross, wala ng examiner, wala ng deduction then they do not haggle for anything. ‘Pag nandiyan na ‘yung resibo, ‘yan na ‘yun,” he said.
The chief executive said this form of tax is already being used in foreign countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.
In response to Duterte’s suggestion, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it will look into shifting to gross taxation.
Former PhilHealth Anti-Fraud Legal Officer Atty. Thorsson Montes Keith revealed that around P15 billion had been ‘stolen’ by so-called ‘mafia’ in the agency.
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday (August 4), Keith called the alleged massive corruption in the agency as ‘the crime of the year’.
“Ang aking natuklasan sa PhilHealth ay matatawag ko na krimen ng taon, (What I discovered in PhilHealth can be called the ‘crime of the year’),” he said. “Naniniwala po ako, base sa aking imbestigasyon, ang perang nawaldas at o ninakaw ay humigit kumulang P15 billion (I believe, based on my investigation, the money spent or stolen reached around P15 billion).”
Keith cited the supposed corruption over PhilHealth’s allegedly overpriced IT system which prompted his resignation with other agency officials.
He also revealed that PhilHealth CEO and President Ricardo Morales has ordered him to talk with Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica to fix the issue of overpriced COVID-19 testing kits.
“Ang dahilan kung bakit hindi natatapos ang korapsyon sa PhilHealth, at naging kutlura na po ito, ay ang pagtatalaga o ang paglalagay ng mga sindikato o mafia ng kanilang kasamahan, kasabwat or kapwa sindikato sa matataas na posisyon na nakakatulong sa kanilang iligal na operasyon (The reason why corruption has not been curbed in PhilHealth, and has become a culture, is the appointment or designation of syndicates or mafia, the fellow cohorts in a high position that helps in their illegal operation),” he added.
Morales has not yet directly responded to the new allegations but had previously denied there is corruption in PhilHealth. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said telecommunications companies should report local government units that are obstructing the building of additional cell towers by delaying the processing of permits.
Duterte made the statement in a televised address after Globe Telecom President and CEO Ernest Cu told the president about their permitting woes in order to build more cell sites and improve their services.
“We are suffering ho from many, many years of this, before your administation, many administrations, 25 to 29 permit umaabot ng walong buwan tapos marami pa ho kaming miscellaneous fees ho. Iba-ibang klaseng tower fee. Mayroon kaming special use permit,” Cu said.
Cu met with Duterte after the latter threatened during his State of the Nation Address to shut down or expropriate telcos if no improvements are made in their services before December.
“Kasi sabi ko, ‘pag hindi mo pa na-improve ‘yan, I will hang you in one of your towers. Sabi niya, “Mayor, you cannot do that because there is no tower. The local governments are all f—–g it up,” Duterte told Cu in jest.
After hearing Cu’s concerns, the chief executive urged telcos to issue a formal complaint against local government units that are stalling the processing of permits for additional communication towers.
He also told telcos to report LGUs to proper authorities.
“Isumbong niyo na lang ng diresto at ang order ko sa Cabinet ngayon is to really take the, ‘kung pinakamabigat, the most drastic measure that you can find, para magkaintindihan. This is my last mile,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, in the same briefing, said that local government units have been ordered to shorten the process and reduce the time spent in producing permits to 16 to 20 days.
“Dati po kailangan pa ng Home-Owners Association Resolution, kailangan pa ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution, wala na po ‘yon. 16 days to 20 days po ang target para y’ong lahat ng permit ay tatakbo,” he said.
The government has been pushing for the ease of doing business to streamline the process in government agencies.
Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. earlier said they are currently working on expansion plans to improve the communication services in the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The date was chosen based on the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.
The president also reminded the public that the observance of the event shall be subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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