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PhilHealth let withholding tax slip away: Hindi raw nila kasi alam!

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Why did the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) let slip away some P152 million in taxes it was supposed to withhold?

Sen. Panfilo Lacson raised this question Wednesday, a day after quizzing a PhilHealth official who merely claimed they did not know PhilHealth is a withholding tax agent.

“Pagka withholding tax agent ka, kailangan wini-withhold mo taxes due sa babayaran mo dahil VAT yan eh, yung facilitation fee, professional fee, may percentage yan. Nang tinanong ko bakit di sila nag-withhold, ang sagot ni (SVP Renato Jr.) Limciaco, halata mong may tinatago, na hindi nila alam. How could they not know it?” Lacson told reporters.

Lacson noted Limciaco even said at Tuesday’s hearing that they had a tax consultant. Lacson said the consultant should be fired due to this.

But Lacson said what is bad is that PhilHealth already advanced to the Bureau of Internal Revenue the amount it was supposed to withhold.

He recalled that when he asked PhilHealth officials where they got the money to advance the payments, he was told that the funds came from PhilHealth’s capital outlay.

“So that’s criminal,” Lacson said.

Lacson also questioned PhilHealth’s decision to make the liquidation of funds “optional.”

“Pag ginawa mong optional pinapayagan mong huwag mag-liquidate, may tinatago ka,” he said.

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