Drilon: Pharmally-linked firms paid higher taxes, thanks to Senate blue ribbon
MANILA, Philippines — As a result of the Senate blue ribbon committee’s actions, Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. corrected initial tax payments and paid higher dues after being reprimanded, Senator Franklin Drilon said.
During Thursday’s investigation into anomalies concerning Pharmally, Drilon mentioned Tigerphil Marketing Corporation, which acknowledged as early as September 24 that they paid higher taxes.
During the hearing, the Senator showed that Tigerphil initially declared a taxable income of P129,742 in 2020, paying taxes worth P38,923. But during the Senate probe, its income ballooned to P3.263 million — and paid taxes up to P1.138 million.
“No’ng sinata po ng komiteng ito ang kanilang (When this committee took notice of their) income, when they were subjected to questions from the committee, suddenly they amended their income tax returns and declared a taxable income of P3,263,671, and paid taxes of P1,138,680.05.,” Drilon said.
“This alone proves Mr. Chairman na may nagagawa ring mabuti ang ating committee sa pagdidinig na ginagawa natin, nagkakaroon ng bagong buwis na binabayaran ang mga kumpanyang kagaya ng Tigerphil Manufacturing Corporation, nagbayad ng mahigit sa isang milyon dahil tinanong sila sa committee kung ano ang nangyayari,” he stressed.
(This alone proves Mr. Chairman that the committee has done something good in the hearings we conducted, like providing government additional taxes through the additional payments made by Tigerphil Manufacturing Corporation — which paid over P1 million just after the committee asked them about it.)
The claims by the Senator came as the committee and its members have been under attack from President Rodrigo Duterte, who has brought up several issues regarding Drilon and committee chair Senator Richard Gordon to counter the accusations against government officials.
Duterte has already barred cabinet officials from attending the hearings, saying that they should focus on the bigger problem, which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tigerphil was dragged into the Senate probe after Pharmally company director and supply chain manager Linconn Ong admitted getting face masks from a certain “Brother Tiger”, who heads Tigerphil Marketing.
Drilon earlier moved that the income tax returns (ITRs) of people and companies connected to Pharmally that were given in an executive session be made public, as another company’s revelation — Xuzhou Constructions Machinery Group — did not pay taxes.
The committee headed by Senator Richard Gordon approved the motion. Drilon then showed that like Xuzhou, other companies like Greentrends Trading International Inc. and personalities like former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang also did not submit their ITRs.
The Senate committee’s probe still focuses on the transactions made by Pharmally, after the Commission on Audit (COA) report showed deficiencies in the Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 funds amounting to P67.32 billion.
Part of that P67.32 billion is the P42 billion funds transferred by DOH to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), which then granted contracts worth P8.7 billion to Pharmally despite it having a small paid-up capital of P625,000.
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