Food and beverage giant Del Monte Pacific Ltd. denied that its Philippine unit was evading taxes, saying it would fully cooperate with any investigation.
The company issued a statement responding to media reports that subsidiary Del Monte Philippines Inc. had underpaid P29.6 billion in tax obligations between 2011 and 2013.
It called the allegations “absurd.”
“For 93 years that it has been operating in the Philippines, DMPI (Del Monte Philippines) has been a loyal corporate citizen and has been diligently paying its taxes,” Del Monte Pacific said.
Del Monte Philippines’ taxes during the period amounted to P1.18 billion.
Its parent company then proceeded to defend the amount.
According to Del Monte Pacific, tax assessments cited amounted to P21 billion 2011, P3.4 billion in 2012 and P5.2 billion in 2013.
It said the figures “appear outrageous” when compared to Del Monte Philippines’ revenues of P16.8 billion in 2011, P18.5 billion in 2012 and P19.8 billion in 2013.
Using those figures, its tax assessment compared to revenues amounted to 125 percent in 2011, 18.4 percent in 2012, and 26.3 percent in 2013.
Del Monte added that the subsidiary’s audited taxable income was P678.3 million in 2011, P1.56 billion in 2012 and P1.83 billion in 2013.
For those respective years, income taxes paid amounted to P236 million, P408.9 million and P534.9 million, or a total of P1.18 billion.
“Del Monte Philippines trusts that this announcement has shed light on the matter and stands ready to fully cooperate in any government inquiry,” the company said.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said last week that lawmakers wanted to look closer into the issue, signaling a possible investigation into officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The Inquirer also reported last week that the BIR is conducting an internal investigation, triggered by the filing of a plunder case that implicated Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay and 17 other officials and personnel for allegedly reducing the tax liabilities of Del Monte Philippines.
Del Monte Philippines is a major manufacturer of canned and fresh produce.
Its brands include the popular “Del Monte” and “S&W” labels.
The subsidiary also claims to be the largest integrated pineapple operation in the world, covering some 20,000 hectares in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.