THE Duterte administration has fed the greed of oil companies in their attempt to evade payment of P146.8 billion in tax dues for their participation in the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power consortium project in Palawan, the Makabayan bloc said on Thursday.
“These corporations already profited from the use of our natural resources. Why is the government giving in to the whims, caprices and profit greed of these big corporations while bleeding dry our people of more tax burden as a result of the Train law and other similar impositions,” Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a news conference on Thursday, referring to the Tax Reform for Acceleration for Inclusion law which increased taxes on fuel and sugar sweetened beverages.
Zarate issued the statement after the Commission on Audit (COA) upheld its April 6, 2015 ruling that the government should not shoulder the income tax liabilities of Shell Philippines, Chevron and the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) in computing the government’s share of net revenues from the offshore natural gas field.
The COA’s ruling was in accordance with Presidential Decrees 87 and 1459 which mandate that the minimum government share out of the net earnings of the Malampaya gas project should at least be 60 percent.
“We laud COA for holding its ground in guarding public funds,” Zarate said.
“This P146 billion should be collected [by the government]immediately and used to uplift the living standards of many Filipinos who are stuck in poverty,” Zarate added. LLANESCA T. PANTI