By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has joined the fray in the government’s fight against hoarders and profiteers of medical supplies used to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Revenue deputy commissioner for operations Arnel Guballa said these unpatriotic traders will be included in the Run-After-Tax-Evaders (RATE) program of the agency.
He instructed regional directors, particularly those in Metro Manila, to coordinate with other government agencies in identifying the culprits.
It can be recalled that operatives from the Department of Trade, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the police have seized large cache of face masks, alcohol, and other personal protective gadgets used against the virus during raids conducted in Sta. Cruz, Manila, and elsewhere.
Guballa said they will use appropriate audit techniques in sending to jail these profiteers, including the network method of audit.
Under this scheme, the declared income of suspects that, when matched against acquired assets, cannot be supported with documents shall be considered hidden, or untaxed wealth.
He said the hoarding and profiteering of essential medical equipment are worse than economic sabotage, stressing it is a “crime against humanity” under these circumstances.
He added the offenses are open defiance against the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of President Duterte.