The Philippine Economic Zone Authority said Monday it is investigating two registered enterprises engaged in manufacturing cigarettes that were found to be non-compliant with the Bureau of Internal Revenue requirements.
PEZA confirmed the BIR recently raided cigarette manufacturers and exporters GB-BEM and GB Global for operating without the required BIR registration and other permits in cigarette production.
The case was also under parallel investigations by the BIR and the House committee on ways and means.
PEZA said it withheld import shipments of these enterprises until a writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the courts.
PEZA said it would apply its own rules and regulations on penalties applicable to these enterprises based on the results of its own investigation which is distinct and different from penalties the BIR may impose on these enterprises.
PEZA Director-General Charito Plaza said that to protect government interests and ensure ecozone locators’ compliance, the agency would hold talks within the week with BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, together with Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, the representative of the Department of Finance in the PEZA board.
Plaza said the discussions would strengthen PEZA’s assistance to BIR in monitoring and compliance requirements by integrating into PEZA systems BIR requirements that were not yet part of PEZA’s processes, like the case of export enterprises engaged in manufacturing cigarettes and tobacco products that are exporting 100 percent of their production.
Plaza said they also initiated talks with Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero to strengthen collaboration between PEZA and BOC and to resolve other concerns in relation to the movement of goods of PEZA enterprises and other BOC requirements.
Plaza said PEZA has existing systems in place in collaboration with both BIR and the BOC, which were proven effective in regulating other locators. She said the agency would look further to plug remaining gaps in the system.
She said PEZA was strengthening its intelligence capability and would continue to coordinate and collaborate with BOC and BIR to protect government revenues.