SENATOR Miriam Santiago has field a resolution calling for an inquiry into the alleged P53.140 billion “unpaid” income taxes of Malampaya contractors from 2003 to 2009.
Santiago, in calling for the probe, cited a Commission on Audit (CoA) report stating that contractors of the Malampaya gas field in Palawan namely Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., Chevron Malampaya LLC and Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) owe the government P53,140,307,739.86 in “underpaid income taxes.”
“The government must balance the interest between profit of investors and state revenue, while at all times ensuring that public interest is primordial. Congress should intensify existing legislation to clarify revenue sharing issues on the Malampaya gas field project,” she said in her resolution.
The contractors have been claiming that the amount was deductible from the government’s 60 percent share of taxes during the said period, a view supported by the Department of Energy (DoE).
COA, however, rejected the contractors’ argument, saying Presidential Decree 87 and PD 1459 “are clear that the minimum government share was 60 percent of the net earnings of any exploration.”
Section 1 of PD 1459 states that any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Energy secretary is authorized to enter into petroleum service contracts, or renegotiate and modify existing ones, upon approval of the President of the Philippines, subject to the following conditions: (a) The share of the government, including all taxes, shall not be less than 60 percent of the difference between the gross income and the sum of operating expenses and such allowances as the secretary may deem proper to grant.
Santiago wants the proper Senate committee to look into the COA report and determine if violations were committed.
The Senate blue ribbon committee is yet to complete its investigation of the P900-million Malampaya fund scam allegedly involving several local chief executives and detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Aside from Napoles, Ruby Tuason, the social secretary of former President Joseph Estrada, is also being implicated in the anomaly and was said to have benefited from it.
The last time Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd conducted a hearing on the issue was in December 2014.