ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has cited two prominent politicians in southern Philippines as among its top tax payers and awarded them for their revenue contributions in the region.
Alert Alocilja, the BIR regional director for Western Mindanao, said among the awardees were Vice Gov. Sakur Tan OF Sulu and Mayor Beng Climaco of Zamboanga City.
Tan was given two awards and Climaco got one during a ceremony here that coincided with the 111th BIR anniversary.
Alocilja praised Tan for his tax payments and said other politicians who have businesses of their own or their family should emulate the vice governor, whose family operates several gas depots, among others, in the region.
The provincial government of Sulu under Gov. Totoh Tan also was among the few provinces honored by the BIR for their tax revenues.
“Sulu is one of the best [revenue]contributors and is also awarded as one of the highest tax payers in the province,” Alocilja told reporters before the start of the awarding ceremony.
Tan also thanked the BIR for the recognition and said he has been paying his taxes religiously even before he was not in public service for many decades now.
“Paying the correct taxes and religiously for that matter is our duty and the taxes also go back to us, to the people in terms of basic services and infrastructures, and many more and we have been very supportive of this effort and a strong advocate of tax collections,” Tan also told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony.
Tan, a known philanthropist, said he has been paying government taxes amounting to at least 40 million. “I would like these [awards]to set an example to other public servants. These also erase notion that our people do not pay taxes. We do pay for as long as we have the income. We pay for the income we make to government because we know the government will return this to the people in terms of important projects,” he said.
“We know that the government is serious in its righteous campaign and that’s why we need to help the government as members of the community and this is our way of thanking the national government for providing and knowing that the revenues and taxes that we pay are plowed back to us,” Tan said in Filipino.
Among others who were also awarded were the provincial government of Zamboanga del Norte, Katipunan Bank, Winston Uy, the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur, municipal government of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, Pagadian Best Emporium, Pagadian Chinese-Filipino Chamber of Commerce, RVSM Realty Development Corporation, Elena Tsang; Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Department of Education in Isabela City, Department of Public Works and Highways in the Muslim autonomous region, Sulu province, Benjamin Go of the Garden Orchids Hotel, Mindanao State University in Tawi-Tawi, Al Tawi-Tawi Nickel Corporation and Abdelnoo Hadjirul.