Pangasinan Chinese-Filipino traders hurt by Aquino words on taxes

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ROSALES, Pangasinan—Chinese-Filipino businessmen in eastern Pangasinan said President Benigno Aquino III’s accusation that many of them were not paying correct taxes had hurt them, saying that the President’s statement was unfair.

“Our members pay their taxes diligently and correctly as part of their conscious responsibility in helping government fund programs and projects to alleviate poverty,” said Rosendo So, president of the Eastern Pangasinan Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (EPFCCC).

So said records of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Pangasinan would show that the top 100 individual and corporate income taxpayers were mostly EPFCCC members.

The EPFCCC is a nonprofit organization which is a member of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).

Founded to support the needs of the different chambers of commerce in the country, the FFCCCII undertakes various civic projects to help the community, So said.

But most of the national officials of the FFCCCII are retired and have passed on the management of their businesses to their children, he said.

“We wish to inform President Aquino that some national officials of the FFCCCII, after retirement, are no longer in business,” said So.

“Therefore, they no longer engage in business,” So said. “This explains why most of the officers (of FFCCCII) declare zero business taxes.”

In an earlier report, President Aquino was quoted as admonishing Chinese-Filipino businessmen about their obligation to pay the correct taxes.

The President made his comments during an annual meeting of the FFCCCIII in Pasay City, eliciting nervous laughter from his audience and statements from chambers of commerce promising to support Mr. Aquino’s tax drive. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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