THE Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) has dismissed claims that they have evaded paying almost P30 billion for three consecutive years.
This after House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in a statement last Monday urged an investigation over reports that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) allowed DMPI to get away with its tax liability from 2011, 2012, and 2013.
City Councilor George Goking, chairman of the City Council’s committee on ways and means, also accused DMPI of owing the city government of some P300 million in unpaid real property taxes.
However in a statement, the DMPI denied the accusations pointing out that it "has been diligently paying the correct taxes".
"As a subsidiary of a company dual listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, DMPI operates with the highest degree of transparency and adheres to the Philippine Tax Code and the BIR rules and regulations," DMPI, in a statement, said.
"In fact, DMPI is one of the Philippines' top corporate taxpayers," it added.
The DMPI clarified that it was never issued nor did it received an assessment of P21 billion from the BIR in 2011, as previously reported in newspapers. The DMPI called the claims 'outrageous', especially that its total revenue in 2011 was only at P16.8 billion.
In 2012 and 2013 assessments meanwhile, DMPI said they have "satisfactorily substantiated a much lower amount of taxes due which the BIR accepted".
It added that in the 3 year period, they have paid a total amount of P1.2 billion in income taxes and P5.9 billion in total taxes paid to the BIR, which included income tax, fringe benefit tax, value-added tax, and documentary stamp tax.
The DMPI also pointed out that it is willing to cooperate in any future government inquiry to clarify the issue.
Goking, meanwhile, said a committee inquiry will be made to initiate talks between the DMPI and the City government.
"Like them, we also wish to clarify this issue this is why we are calling for an inquiry next week," Goking said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 20, 2017.