IT’S simply absurd, Noynoy Aquino’s alibi that the government stands to lose P30 billion a year if individual income tax rates are lowered.
Prominent economists say there are, in fact, more ways than one for the government to recoup such “loss” of revenues.
Strictly enforcing tax collection alone will boost government revenues.
Unfortunately, this inutile administration chooses not to.
Several studies have revealed that billions of pesos in supposed revenues are lost annually as government officials in agencies like the Bureau of Customs (BOC) conspire with importers who evade taxes through technical smuggling.
Another example of hideous tax cheats are online gambling operators, particularly those of illegal cockfighting websites.
If strictly imposed and collected, tax dues from online sabong sites can boost BIR’s revenues.
My investigative team has gathered that over a hundred online casinos do not have proper licenses or permits to operate from the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (Pagcor) or the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
Our sources revealed that one such “sabong” site alone rakes between P4 million and P7 million a day from betting on sultadas shown through live streaming of the action from actual cockpits.
And yet, online sabong operators do not pay taxes either to the local government or the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
While cash bets and winnings in thousands and millions of pesos actually change hands in the cockpit arena, wagers and winning bets in online sabong are transmitted through money transfer accounts, such as money express or pera padala.
The following are but a few of illegal online sabong sites and their respective owner/operator:
sabongpinaslive.com of one “Fred Katigbak” of Batangas; e-sultada.com of “Jay Gonzales” of Cavite; sabonggreat.net of Alex Sureta, also of Cavite; sabongbatangas.com of Eric Rigos of Batangas; sabingquezon.com of “Levi Soler” and “Deca Meseta” of San Juan, Batangas; sabongw.com of “Jerlyn Samson” and “Noel Calma” of Angeles City; and sabongarena.net of John Gloria of Caloocan City; sabongworld.com of “Mike Ternate” of Batangas; and sabongch.com of Boy Marso, also of Batangas.
My grapevine sources said sabongw.com owners Samson and Calma brag of their connections with law enforcement authorities who prevent any arrest or stoppage of their illegal operation.
Unfortunately for them, my contacts at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) disclosed these operators are already listed in their order of battle and arrests are expected anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kin Henares, in an interview with Radyo 5, has asked for the list of the websites and their owners so they can do a lifestyle check on each of the abovementioned alleged illegal online sabong operators.
Let’s wait and see.
Relief goods wastage unforgivable
Malacañang expectedly will downplay the reported discovery of over 500 sacks of National Food Authority (NFA) rice “buried” in a pit in a Yolanda-stricken town in Leyte.
The townspeople are still hurting from the Noynoy administration’s slow response to the extreme calamity that befell them in November 2013.
Now comes this news that the NFA rice worth roughly P1 million were purposely abandoned to go to waste instead of being distributed to typhoon victims.
Plastic bags marked Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) were recovered along with the stacks of rice buried in the remote village of Mac-alang, town of Dagami, Leyte.
Understandably, House Independent Bloc leader Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez demanded an explanation.
“I can’t understand why this had to happen given the continued hunger among Yolanda survivors who continue to hope for government assistance,” Romualdez said.
I can’t blame the good congressman if he believes such wastage of relief goods intended for the disaster victims is unforgivable.
“The lack of ‘malasakit’ on this shocking discovery is unthinkable and beyond human comprehension,” Romualdez pointed out.
Note that this is not the first time that such wastage of relief goods arising from DSWD’s negligence was reported.
The heads of the people responsible for this unforgivable crime should roll.
* * *
We welcome your reaction, comments, complaints or exposé. Please email them to email@example.com or personally visit us at the TV5 Field Office at 2nd Floor, Quedsa Plaza, Quezon Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City, between 9 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday.