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PCSO cleared of tax case over small town lottery

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has cleared the state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office of any liability in paying the documentary stamp tax for the small town lottery operations. 

PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II said the agency had not received any “adverse opinion” on the DST from the BIR or the Commission on Audit.

Nina Asuncion of the BIR legal department said in a recent hearing at the House committee on ways and means the payment of the DST was the sole responsibility of private companies operating the STL under a contract with the PCSO. 

No plunder. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Ferdinand Rojas answers questions about the plunder filed against him and several other PCSO board members at Kapihan sa Manila Hotel news forum on Monday. EY ACASIO

Rojas said since its assumption to office in 2010, the PCSO board has implemented reforms including the payment of DST by STL operators. “We have been strict and prudent in our management of PCSO, including its games and programs,” he said.

STL was established in 2005 under the previous administration to combat jueteng and be a source for funds for PCSO’s social welfare programs including medical assistance and ambulance and medical equipment donations.

Rojas said from 2010 to 2012, PCSO had corrected the weaknesses they found in the STL and imposed stricter implementing rules and regulations in 2014 including the payment of DST by STL operators.

He said PCSO also paid P2 billion in tax arrears and debts left by the previous administration including contributions to government agencies.

Based on the PCSO charter, revenues collected are divided with 55 percent going to the prize fund for the games, 30 percent for the charity fund and 15 for the operating fund as the PCSO does not get any budget from the government.

Rojas earlier refuted the plunder complaint filed before the Ombudsman over the non-remittance of documentary stamp tax on small town lottery operations, saying it adhered to good governance.

Diego Magpantay and Carlo Batalia of the Citizens Crime Watch on Thursday filed the plunder and graft complaint against Rojas and other board directors for allowing the STL operators not to remit the 10-percent documentary stamp tax from 2006 to July 2015.

Rojas said the complaint was “malicious” and “baseless” designed to “malign the present board for the personal agenda and self-serving interest of certain individuals.”

Rojas said the PCSO board had introduced reforms since 2010 to improve charity services and gaming activities, which earned the office a recommendation for an ISO-certification.

“We have implemented long-lasting improvements in procedures and policies and judicious expenditures, among others. PCSO is a small but successful story of our performance and good governance,” Rojas said.

Topics: Bureau of Internal Revenue , BIR , Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office , PCSO , tax case , small town lottery
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