Pagcor joins gov’t taxpayers’ ‘billionaires’ club’By Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is joining the so-called billionaires’ club of government corporate tax payers as it pays a whopping P5.5 billion in taxes to the government for 2012.
Pagcor, in a statement on Tuesday, announced that its total payment to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for 2012 would reach P5.5 billion.
For corporate income tax alone, the state gaming firm will pay P1.07 billion for 2012 after it raked in a whopping P40.88 billion total income last year.
“This is the first time ever that our agency has become part of the billionaires’ club in terms of corporate income tax payments,” Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. said.
Aside from the corporate income tax, Pagcor said it will also pay the government P1.37 billion representing the 5-percent franchise tax from its gaming operations, P2.32 billion in franchise tax collections from its licensees, and P778 million in withholding taxes.
With this staggering amount, the statement said Pagcor is expected to remain on the list of the top GOCC (government-owned and -controlled corporation) taxpayers for 2012.
“We support the BIR’s tax collection campaign since this is one of the government’s basic sources in funding its various developmental programs,” Naguiat added.
Based on the Commission on Audit (COA) Annual Report for 2011, the gaming firm ranked third among top government corporate taxpayers with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) topping the list and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM Corp)., landing on second place.
The BSP paid BIR P26.7 billion in income, withholding and other taxes in 2011 while PSALM Corp. and Pagcor paid the BIR P5.5 billion and P4.98 billion, respectively, in corporate income and other taxes in the same year.
In December 2011, Pagcor voluntarily settled unpaid back taxes amounting to almost P857 million incurred under the agency’s previous administration from 2004 to 2010. The unpaid back taxes were due to Pagcor’s removal from the list of agencies that were exempted from paying Corporate Income Tax.
Despite the case filed by the previous management, the Supreme Court issued a resolution on April 6, 2011, rendering as constitutional the removal of Pagcor from the list.
With the court’s ruling, Naguiat said the new Pagcor management immediately coordinated with the BIR for an audit of the back taxes that were supposed to have been paid by the agency.
“We immediately coordinated with BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares and informed her of our desire to voluntarily comply with Pagcor’s tax obligations,” said the incumbent Pagcor chief.
Since then, Naguiat said, Pagcor has been religiously complying with its tax obligations.
“We are remitting the payments to the BIR on a quarterly basis. For 2011, we paid a total of P960 million in corporate income taxes alone,” Naguiat noted.