BIR probes Pharmally, other govt contractors involved in procurement anomalies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — The Bureau of Internal Revenue is investigating Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. and government contractors involved in alleged anomalous procurement of medical supplies for COVID-19 response.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Senator Sonny Angara bared this on Wednesday during the chamber’s plenary debates on the proposed 2022 budget of the Department of Finance and its attached agencies, including the BIR.

Citing a document submitted by the BIR, Angara noted that the agency’s probe into the government’s suppliers “is being undertaken by concerned revenue district office per memos of the Commissioner issued in September and November.”

The Blue Ribbon Committee earlier adopted a motion urging the BIR to form a task force that would perform a special audit on taxes paid by government’s suppliers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the debates, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked why the investigation is being done by the regional offices, when a special unit from the main office is more ideal given the billions of amounts involved and to ensure that the procedure is really being conducted.

Citing his conversation with BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay, Angara said the companies are located in different revenue district offices, so the information is in their respective districts. This also makes it difficult to conduct a single investigation, the lawmaker added.

The BIR also committed to submit a consolidated report by yearend.

President Rodrigo Duterte told senators on Tuesday that they can imprison Pharmally executives for failing to settle their taxes.

This comes after Drilon revealed on Oct. 28 that Pharmally claimed a tax credit worth over ₱96 million last year but did not pay any tax, according to records from the BIR.

CNN Philippines correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.