UPDATED MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo questioned the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday as to why it chose to target online sellers rather than big-time oil smugglers.
During the Senate committee on ways and means hearing, Tulfo disclosed that he had received complaints from a content creator and an online seller. They told him that BIR agents had gone to their homes to inquire about their tax payments.
“If we are really serious in collecting revenues to maximize the state revenues, is it better if we would concentrate on the big fishes, not on some small fry?” he questioned.
“I said that dahil barya-barya lang po ang kinikita ng mga vlogger, especially online seller, and alam naman po natin during pandemic, these are the people na nag-survive, providing for the family, nag-diskarte para kumita,” he went on.
(I said that because the vloggers, especially online sellers, earn a little, and we know that during the pandemic, these are the people who survived, providing for their family.)
BOC Deputy Commissioner Edward James Buco responded that they have collected hundreds of billions of pesos under the fuel marking program.
“From December 2019 up to July 2022, we have marked 45.458 billion liters of fuel and out of that, we have collected taxes in the amount of P457.98 billion,” he said.
“We are intensifying the program of fuel marking. In fact, we have already closed some gasoline stations for selling unmarked fuel,” he noted.
Tulfo, Senate committee on energy chair, will file a resolution to look into the issue and uncover the individuals or groups behind oil smuggling.