By Prince Golez
Companies must first settle their tax liabilities before returning to business, President Rodrigo Duterte said.
In a televised speech late Monday, Duterte said he will not allow businesses with unpaid taxes to resume operations even they secure a franchise from Congress.
“There will be no opening, I assure you. Lahat ng franchise, hindi ko i-mplement yan hanggang they settle their full accounts with government. Sabihin lang ninyo na bigyan kayo ng franchise? For all I care you can have 1,000 franchise, you will not see the light of day there until you come to government with clean hands,” the President said.
“Did I not tell you noon, sinabi ko sa inyo itong gobyernong na ito para ito sa mahirap? Kita naman ninyo kung sino ang binibira ko, ‘yun ‘yung hindi bumabayad ng buwis,” he added.
To recall, the House Committee on Legislative Franchise voted to deny media giant ABS-CBN’s bid for a fresh 25-year franchise due to its alleged violations of labor and tax laws, biased reporting, and the citizenship of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez among others.