File Photo from senator Raffy Tulfo Facebook page.

Instead of training its sights on online sellers and vloggers, Sen. Raffy Tulfo asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to instead go after big-time tax evaders.

At an organizational meeting of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Tulfo said he has received complaints from online sellers and vloggers that some BIR agents are badgering them about their tax payments.

“These are the people who survived the pandemic. Dumiskarte lang sila para mabuhay (They are just resourceful in order to live),” Tulfo said.

If the government is serious about raising money through taxation, Tulfo said the BIR must focus on the “big fish”, not on small-time business enterprises, while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should track down oil smugglers.

“The government must know its priorities if the intention is to maximize state revenues through taxation,” Tulfo said.

Senator Nancy Binay likewise asked for the conviction rate of tax evaders and smugglers and asked the BOC and BIR to submit detailed reports, including the actual number of cases won.

Tulfo also proposed legalizing imported second hand garments (ukay-ukay) as it would mean an increase of government funds since their entry cannot be controlled anyway.

Republic Act No. 4653, or an Act to Safeguard the Health of the People and Maintain the Dignity of the Nation by Declaring it a National Policy to Prohibit the Commercial Importation of Textile Articles, makes it unlawful for any person, association or corporation to introduce into any point in the Philippines textile articles commonly known as used clothing and rags.

Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Pia Cayetano proposed a review of the law.

The Ways and Means committee held the meeting to look into the government’s actual revenues versus target revenues, tax leakages and how to stop them, performance of past tax reforms, and the priority measures of the Marcos administration.


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