Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez called on his colleagues to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s proposal to allow big firms to settle their tax problems out of the courtroom.
Alvarez, Secretary General of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pil ipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), noted that out-of-court settlements for the payment of tax dues by big companies will raise money that can be used for social services.
“President Duterte should be given the opportunity to decide on what is best for the country on the matter. A legal battle will be long and arduous, and would deprive the people of the immediate benefits such as the delivery of basic services,” Alvarez said.
Duterte has initially called for the arrest of Mighty Corp. owner Alex Wong Chu King over a P9.6-billion tax evasion case filed by the Bureau of International Revenue in connection with firm’s alleged use of fake excise tax stamps.
The President later said Mighty Corp. can pay the government P3 billion to settle its tax case. The money, he said, can be used to build hospitals in Basilan, Sulu and Tondo, Manila.
“President Duterte is only doing what is best for the country,” Alvarez said.
The President’s proposal has yet to be approved by the BIR and the Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.
Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay earlier said that a P3 billion settlement is too small for Mighty Corp., which should also be made to pay for the risks its product poses to consumers.