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Solon backs out-of-court tax settlements


by Ben Rosario

A Manila congressman yesterday backed out-of-court settlement of tax evasion cases to provide government immediate cash to finance much-needed public health programs.

Rep. Manuel Lopez, vice chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said government should strongly consider the settlement of tax cases, especially those filed by state prosecutors despite unconvincing evidence.

Lopez supported  President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to enter into an out of court resolution of the tax cases the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs have filed against big firms accused of failing to settle huge back taxes.

He said money collected from the settlement can be used to swiftly implement support public health programs, particularly ensuring medical assistance to the poor.

Lopez, a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, said several Manila hospitals, namely: Ospital ng Tondo, Tondo Medical Center and Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, are in dire need of immediate financial assistance to be able to address the medical needs of the poor.

Lopez noted that amicable settlement of tax evasion cases is allowed under the existing laws as an option open to the government.

He said out-of-court settlements could result to the immediate payment of uncollected revenues from suspected tax evaders.

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