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Ayala pays P9.9 billion in taxes to 'boost' gov't outbreak response

Philstar.com
Ayala Corp.
The group of companies — which includes Ayala Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecommunications Inc., AC Energy and Manila Water Corp. — said it already settled a total of P9.86 billion before the extended June 14 deadline.
Joey Viduya, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Ayala Group said Monday it paid its taxes ahead of deadline to help beef up the government's war chest against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

The group of companies — which includes Ayala Corp., Ayala Land Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom Inc., AC Energy and Manila Water Company Inc. — said it already settled a total of P9.86 billion before the extended June 14 deadline for taxes on income earned last year.

The tax settlement was meant to "help boost government coffers and allotment to COVID-19 response," the company said in a statement posted on its website.

“We are committed to help the president tackle the many challenges he has to deal with and are confident that by working together, our country can overcome each challenge, save lives, and gradually put the country back on a path of growth,” brothers Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala, company executives, said in a joint statement.

Jaime Augusto serves as chairman and chief executive of Ayala Corp., while Fernando is president and chief operating officer.

Earlier this month, Manuel V. Pangilinan's MVP Group said it would also settle an undisclosed amount of income taxes  For its part, Ramon Ang-led San Miguel Corp. announced in April it has set aside P11.67 billion in tax, concession and contractual payments to cover the community quarantine period that started last March 17 in Luzon.

Billions of pesos in tax payments would help replenish what government officials have earlier said to be depleting funds in state coffers amid the COVID-19 response. The Duterte administration has heavily banked on the private sector in combating the highly contagious disease and mitigating the virus' economic fallout.

The pandemic, and the whole-of-nation approach the government is trying to initiate, had also halted President Duterte's attacks to the Zobel brothers and Pangilinan over the tycoons' water business whose management were blamed by the government for last year's water shortage in Metro Manila. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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