By Jun Ramirez
The non-stop campaign of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against fake cigarettes continues, with the tax agency destroying recently illegal cigarette-making machines, boxes of various counterfeit cigarettes with fake tax stamps, and raw materials at the DiGaMa Waste Management Facility in Cagayan de Oro City.
“The destruction of these machines is mandated by law to ensure that these devices can never be used by nefarious businessmen to accumulate profits disadvantageous to the government,” said Cagayan de Oro Revenue Regional Director Nuzar N. Balatero.
He said criminal charges for the possession of fake tax stamps and other violations of the Tax Code have already been filed with the Department of Justice.
BIR Deputy Commissioner for Operations Arnel Guballa said the confiscation and eventual destruction of the contraband are part of the continuing tax enforcement activities against illegal manufacturers of cigarettes.
The government has been losing hundreds of millions of pesos in excise tax yearly through the illicit manufacture and distribution of fake cigarettes.
“May these enforcement activities serve as a deterrent for others engaged in similar illegal activities from defrauding the government of much-needed revenues,” Guballa said.