COA to Malampaya Consortium: Magbayad Kayo ng Income Tax Nyo!

COA to Malampaya Consortium: Magbayad Kayo ng Income Tax Nyo!

Sabi ng COA, illegal ang tax assumption at ito ay isang form din ng tax evasion.

Kailangang Magbayad ang Malampaya Consortium ng 146B Pesos Tax

Ang Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation, Chevron, at Shell ay hindi pinagbabayad ng income tax nina Arroyo, Aquino, at Duterte kaya lumobo ang kanilang utang sa 146.7B pesos. Ngunit ngayon, pinagbabayad na ng COA ang Malampaya Consortium ng income taxes para sa Malampaya gas project.

Ayon sa COA, “

If this Commission will not put an end to this illegal ‘tax assumption’ scheme, the government will continue to bleed billions and billions of funds that can and should be used for the very purpose intended by law.”

Inilapit na ng Shell ang usapin sa International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Sinuportahan naman ito ng national government. Ngunit, hindi pa rin natinag ang Commission on Audit.

Sa ilalim ng Presidential Decree 1459, pinayagan ang Department of Energy na magkaroon ng petroleum service contracts sa Malampaya Consortium, kapalit ang hindi bababa sa 60% na profit share ng gobyerno, kasama na ang lahat ng taxes.

Ayon sa COA, ang ganitong scheme na tinatawag na tax assumption ay illegal at isang uri nga tax evasion. Noong panahon ng rehimeng Aquino, umapela ang Department of Energy at sinabi sa COA, “The contractor is still subject to income tax, only that it is part of and included in the 60% government share and goes to the government through the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).”

Ayon sa COA, “The tax assumption arrangement increased the actual share of the contractors from 40 percent to 65.97 percent, while the government share substantially decreased from 60 percent to only 34.03 percent. This is a clear violation of the maximum contractor’s share under Section 8(2) of P.D. 87 and the minimum guaranteed government share under Section 18(b) of PD 87 and Section 1(a) of PD 1459.”

Noong 2015, nag-issue na ang COA ng Notice of Charge laban sa Malampaya Consortium at hiniling nito na magbayad sila ng 53.14B pesos bilang tax payment. Umapela ang consortium at sinuportahan sila ng Deparment of Energy sa ilalim ng rehimeng Aquino.

Noong pumalit na si Duterte, sinuportahan ng Office of the Secretary General ang posisyon ng Department of Energy. Ayon sa Department of Energy, ang pagpipilit na singilin ang Malampaya Consortium ay makakagpahina ng kumpyansa ng mga foreign petroleum industry investors.

Pinagpipilitan din ng COA na may karapatan silang mag-demand ng kabayaran, kahit na taliwas ito sa posisyon ng national government.

Dagdag pa ng COA, “While it is true that this Commission is a government agency, it remains to be an independent constitutional commission with the solemn duty to safeguard public funds.”

Tama naman ng COA. May mga batas na kelangang sundin. Ang anumang kasunduan na pinasok ng national government ay kailangang sumusunod sa batas.

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