Friday, July 20, 2018
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Dominguez wants BIR, Customs to catch another big fish like Mighty Corp.

Mighty Corp. warehouse

Mighty cigarette products kept in San Simon warehouse in Pampanga.(Contributed photo)

“Catch another big fish like Mighty Corp.”

This was Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III’s order to the heads of the country’s two biggest revenue agencies as the government intensifies its campaign against tax cheats.



“You better line up another big one. Next year, if possible, catch somebody, another big fish,” Dominguez was quoted by the Department of Finance as telling Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay and Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon during a recent DOF executive committee meeting.


In a statement Wednesday, Dominguez said “people should pay attention to paying their taxes, because we are serious about doing it.”


“We are not out for publicity–like some other administration, we are out for big amounts. I mean, our time is limited so let’s go for the big ones,” Dominguez added.


For Dominguez, another P20-30 billion would be “a good target” for the BIR and the BOC to collect from tax cheats.

his recent State of the Nation Address, President Duterte ordered the DOF and the BIR to accept Bulacan-based Mighty’s tax settlement offer of P25 billion, under which the firm “will no longer engage in the tobacco business.”


Homegrown Mighty is the second biggest cigarette manufacturer in the country after PMFTC Inc., the joint venture of tycoon Lucio Tan and global giant Philip Morris International.

“This will be the biggest tax settlement on record. It will produce a windfall for government, which is significant, since we face the unexpected costs of rebuilding Marawi and Ormoc,” President Duterte said in his Sona, referring to the two cities flattened by fighting between government forces and ISIS supporters as well as damaged by a recent earthquake, respectively.

But the President said “the acceptance of the tax settlement offer does not preclude other criminal charges against the company that the BIR may decide to file.”

The government decided to settle with Mighty as it wanted “to avoid a long court battle that, as we saw in previous cases, could take years to resolve,” the President explained.

The tax settlement amount will be funded by the sale of Mighty’s assets and distribution network to the Philippine unit of Japan Tobacco International.

Dominguez had said the government expects to collect up to P30 billion, including value-added tax, from the settlement with Mighty.

The government had already accepted an initial P3.44-billion payment from Mighty and JTI.

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