Tsinoys support P-Noy’s tax campaign

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) is supporting President Aquino’s campaign for the business sector to pay the correct taxes.

FFCCCIII president Tan Ching vowed yesterday that federation members would police their ranks and also called on fellow Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs to pay their taxes correctly and diligently.

“We support his excellency’s ‘Tuwid na Daan’ platform of governance and his appeal for all to pay correct taxes. As most of our member organizations are non-stock, nonprofit organizations, the federation reiterates the call for all to ensure that proper compliances are met,” Ching told reporters in Manila.

“We are encouraging the Filipino-Chinese community to be very diligent in paying their tax obligations and pay the right taxes on or before April 15,” he added.

The FFCCCII made this pronouncement following the challenge posed by President Aquino during the group’s 29th biennial convention at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City last Friday.

In his speech, the President said the government would not think twice in going after delinquent businessmen who would continue to evade paying the right taxes.

He told the FFCCCII members: “Hui sin pa la tyo she (Please pay correct taxes).”

Aquino then cited records of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which showed that only a few FFCCCII members pay taxes.

From 207 firms included in the group’s directory in 2011-2013, only 105 of them have a Tax Identification Number (TIN), the President said, adding that of those who have TINs, only 54 filed tax returns.

Of the 552 FFCCCII individual members, 424 have TINs, he added.

Ching said the Filipino-Chinese businessmen support the government’s tax campaign by disseminating important information on tax laws and regulations to the Chinese community through seminars and press releases, among others.

“The Filipino-Chinese community has contributed to nation building for a long, long time. Since its establishment in 1954, FFCCCII has continuously worked hand in hand with the government in the pursuit of growth and progress,” he added.

Harry Angping, former special envoy to China for trade and investments, assured the public that Filipino-Chinese businesses have no intention to cheat on their tax obligations.

He said the FFCCCII is now looking into the claim that some of its members are not paying the correct taxes.

“I can assure the public that the federation is seriously looking into this. They are looking at the statistics,” Angping told The STAR on the sidelines of a meeting of FFCCCI in Pasay yesterday.

“Definitely (there is no effort to evade taxes). There is an honest effort to look into this,” he added.

Angping, who served as chairman of the FFCCCI’s tax committee, claimed that some members of the group are entities that are tax-exempt.

“It appears that they do not believe in the statistics. That’s too low because many of (the members) are private foundations like fire brigade or family associations. These do not have to pay taxes,”

Angping, who serves as an adviser to FFCCCII, said it is important to help taxpayers settle their fiscal obligations. He admitted that some taxpayers might be ignorant of the processes involved in paying taxes.

“We will see to it that we will correct the wrong impression,” he said.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which collects about three fourths of state revenues, missed its P1.066 trillion target last year, collecting only P1.058 trillion.

The country’s fiscal deficit stood at P242.83 billion last year, higher than the P197.75 billion shortfall posted in 2011.

Vice President Jejomar Binay asked Filipino-Chinese businessmen to help translate the country’s economic gains into job opportunities and concrete programs for the poor.

“In our drive to boost the economy, we must not lose sight of our Millennium Development Goals we committed to the United Nations. We must all work together to ensure an equitable distribution of wealth. The benefits we earn should be inclusive and trickle down to those who are in most need of relief,” Binay said during the 29th Biennial Convention of the FFCCCII in Pasay.

“In concrete terms, this means job creation as no government, however affluent, can succeed if it operates solely on a system of dole-outs however well-intentioned this may be,” Binay added.

Binay said investor confidence in the Philippines is very high but also cited the need to translate this into real and tangible growth.

“Our vigorous push toward national development intends to create platforms on which those who dare can reap prosperity,” Binay said.

He also urged the FFCCCII members to remain the government’s partners in nation building and said the government is committed to making economic and political policies that will encourage the growth and success of enterprises. – With Alexis Romero, Jose Rodel Clapano



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