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Lawmaker questions non-implementation of tax stamps on alcoholic beverages

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017



MANILA, Philippines — Five years since Sin Tax Reform was passed into law, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is still not placing tax stamps on bottles of alcoholic beverages, as proof of tax compliance.

During the hearing of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Act Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio slammed the BIR for not implementing this part of Sin Tax Law, which ensures that proper taxes are paid by alcohol manufacturers.

“What’s the proof of payment? Is this like trust or something like in good faith? Unless this is implemented, we never know if BIR is collecting what they need to collect,” said Act Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio.

BIR said, even without tax stamps, they manage to collect taxes from alcoholic beverages even before these products are sold in the market.

They said that they have revenue officers whose task is to monitor the investor of manufactured products to be taxed.

“We are collecting taxes on alcohol production. When the product gets out of their manufacturing plant, we already have inventory of our taxes to be paid,” BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said.

BIR guaranteed the House committee that they will submit a plan on how they will implement before year ends the tax stamps on alcoholic beverages.

Meanwhile, the issue of proliferation of fake stamps on tobacco products was also discussed during the hearing.
Cong. Prospero Pichay suggested the use of laser stamps, which he said are harder to counterfeit.

Department of Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez III, on the other hand, said, they are now taking actions against fake stamps.

“Among these measures are plans to change the stamp design and install circuit television or CCTV monitoring systems by cigarette manufacturers inside their warehouses so that BIR personnel can monitor their operations,” Department of Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez III said. – Joyce Balancio | UNTV News and Rescue

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Duterte directs DOTr to fast track construction of Malolos-Clark Railway Project

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019

A rendering of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project | Photo courtesy of JICA

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed on Thursday (July 11) the official signing of the agreement between the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the construction of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP).

The MCRP is part of the North-South Commuter Railway Project designed to connect the New Clark City and the Clark International Airport to Metro Manila up to the municipality of Calamba in Laguna by the year 2025.

President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to speed up the construction of the said project so the Filipino people may be able to benefit from it soon.

“I am directing the Department of Transportation to fast track the completion of the MCRP and observe the highest quality standards as we complete this railway project,” the President said.

“By the time it is completed, I expect that our people, especially those from Central Luzon, with greatly feel the impact of our Build, Build, Build program,” the President concluded.

The $1.3-B project is just the first phase of the $2.5-B infra facility which is the biggest infrastructure project funded by the ADB so far.  

Once completed, the MCRP will be the first airport express railway service in the country. – (With details from Rosalie Coz)

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Customs’ tariff collection from imported rice now at P5.9B — DOF

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Since the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law in February this year, about 1.43 million metric tons or around 28.6 million sacks of imported rice made their way into Philippine markets.

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), this translates to P5.9 billion in tax collected from private importers.

The port of Subic yielded the highest tax collection with P1.37 billion, followed by the port of Manila with P978.51 million; the Manila International Container Port with P942.76 million; the port of Cagayan de Oro with P754.13 million; and the port of Davao P703.93 million.

From this amount is where the annual P10-B Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) will come from to be used for farm mechanization, seeds, skills and training programs as well as financial assistance or loan programs to local farmers for the improvement of the country’s agriculture.

The DOF sees the Rice Liberalization Act as an instrument to further lower the price of basic commodities especially rice even by P7.00 per kilogram.

Former Agriculture Secretary William Dar believes that with proper implementation, the RCEF can reduce the cost of farming in the country from P12.00 to P6.00 per kilogram.

Currently, rice production in the Philippines is way higher than Viet Nam and Thailand which have P6.00 and P8.00 per kilogram, respectively.

I believe and with proper implementation of the P10 Billion Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund, this will make a long, long, long way in making the rice farmer very competitive,” Dar said.

According to the former secretary, it is also important for the government to address the problems in irrigation so as to improve the country’s production of palay.

“If there is ‘Build…Build…Build’ for imports and other infrastructure, there must be ‘Build…Build…Build’ for irrigation,” Dar noted.

Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) has already procured P5.4 million-worth of rice from local farmers.

The agency assured that low-priced commercial rice of P27.00 per kilogram will always be available in markets. – with details from Rey Pelayo

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DOF, expected to earn P2-B monthly tax from POGO industry foreign workers

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Courtesy: Pixabay

The Department of Finance (DOF) has created an inter-agency task force with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in intensifying the imposition of taxes on foreign workers in the country.

DOF Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino noted the increasing number of foreign workers in the country who do not pay taxes.

“It’s not fair to the Filipino worker who is paying taxes regularly when we have foreign nationals working here and not paying taxes. Because they use the same roads. Nakikinabang naman sila sa mga ilaw sa gabi, sa ating mga kalsada, kung anu-ano pang services na meron [They benefit from the electricity, from our roads, and from other services we have],” Lambino said.

The DOF official also said the country can earn 32 billion pesos every year from the tax that can be collected from 138,000 foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) industry.

A data from DOLE shows that 84% of employees of the 182 POGOs that are registered in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are foreign nationals, most of which are Chinese.

This prompted the task force to come up with a joint memorandum circular which states that the DOLE will not release an alien employment permit to a foreign national who has no tax identification number issued by the BIR.

The DOLE and the BIR will also come up with a database that will set a solid data on the total number of foreign workers in the country and to have a strict monitoring in the taxation of these workers.

The BIR has also issued notices to other POGO providers to remind them to pay taxes that have now reached P4-Billion. (with reports from Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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