Phoenix Petroleum has announced plans to voluntarily pre-pay excise taxes due for its gasoline and petroleum-based product sales in 2017 to demonstrate its full support for the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) of the Duterte Administration.
This is the first time any oil company has volunteered to pay its taxes in advance in a show of support for a government program.
Dennis Uy, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Phoenix Petroleum, cited the company’s move as a gesture of its “staunch commitment to responsible and participatory governance and to the welfare of the Filipino people.”
“We are doing this because it’s the right thing to do. We see it as one more way to help the government find more money to support necessary services to our fellow Filipinos,” said Uy.
“Yes, we are a business in the private sector, but we are also Filipino citizens,” he continues. “It is not enough to simply fulfill the responsibilities of a corporate citizen; we must go beyond. After all, it’s also in our interest to maximize the government’s financial flexibility and spending capacity, because it will help them provide the necessary services to the Filipino people, expand the Philippine economy, and foster a more empowered consumer base,” he said in a statement, of which a copy was furnished the Department of Finance (DOF) .
Uy also emphasized the sustainability of the pre-payment process.
“At Phoenix Petroleum, we have found the flexibility and creativity to pre-pay taxes while at the same time protecting the interests of all stakeholders,” Uy said.
“We paved a pathway that allows us to help the government without having to raise prices for consumers, or risk the return on investment for our shareholders. This is a win-win situation, and the benefits will be felt by all,” he added.
Uy also encouraged other firms in the private sector to find their own ways to contribute to the process of nation-building on the Duterte watch.
“We hope other corporate citizens will consider the same action,” he said.
“We aren’t trying to tell others what to do, but we hope those in our industry and in other industries will consider doing something similar.
The DOF has crafted the CTRP not only to make the country’s tax system simpler, fairer and more effective, especially for low- and middle-income taxpayers but also to raise enough money to bankroll the government’s ambitious public investment strategy to sustain the growth momentum and attain economic inclusion.
This strategy is anchored on record spending on infrastructure, human capital and social protection for the poor in order to reduce the poverty rate from the current 21 percent to 14 percent by 2022 and to transform the Philippines by then into an upper middle-income economy.
The first package of the CTRP is contained in House Bill No. 4774, which seeks to cut personal income tax rates as a way to put more money in the pockets of low- and middle-income taxpayers and to offset the projected revenue loss with compensatory measures such as broadening the Value Added Tax base and adjusting the excise taxes on automobiles and petroleum products. Complementing such policy changes are tax administration reforms to reduce corruption and improve the collection efficiency of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and of Customs.
HB 4774 was authored by Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, chairperson of the House ways and means committee that has been holding weekly public hearings on this tax reform bill.
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