• Aquino govt blamed for fire truck ‘mess’

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    Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon may have been misled on the alleged under valuation of the importation of 469 fire trucks consigned to the Bureau of Fire Protection in 2016, a joint venture said Monday.

    In statement sent to The Manila Times, the Kolonwel-Hubei joint venture bewailed that they were not treated fairly by the previous administration when their importation was not granted the tax exemption to which they were entitled to under the law. This exemption is reiterated under Joint Circular No. 1 of the Department of Budget and Management and Department of Finance dated 30 April 2014.

    The joint venture said it saved the Bureau of Fire Protection P6 million because it offered was lower than those quoted by their competitors. The Joint venture suspects that those behind this smear campaign are the losing bidders who had gained from the supply of overpriced fire trucks in the past.

    It said the amount of taxes and duties it paid was based on the total value of the unit which included delivery charges, miscellaneous expenses, commissioning and testing expenses, handling fees, training expenses, sales tax, value-added tax and the delivery costs to end users.

    It said this misunderstanding could have been avoided had the previous officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government and Bureau of Fire Protection applied for the exemption, which they have done for other suppliers in the past.

    The joint venture said it will file for reimbursement of the duties and taxes it paid.

    Faeldon earlier asked the Department of Justice to investigate the importation of the fire trucks which he said were grossly undervalued.

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