By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Joel Villanueva on Wednesday urged the government not to rush online vendors to comply with the required registration and payment of tax obligations.
Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, underscored that most of the small entrepreneurs engaged in online businesses came from ranks of the unemployed.
He said the online sellers are currently “on survival mode” and are focused on earning enough to provide for their basic needs while the country continues to grapple
with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Payak lang po ang konsiderasyon na nasa isip ng ating mga manggagawa na nakikipagsapalaran ngayon bilang mga online seller (Our workers are simply thinking of their needs that’s why they are venturing on being online sellers). Kailangan po nilang kumita para may pagkain sa kanilang hapag at matustusan ang iba pang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya tulad ng bayarin sa upa, kuryente, tubig, at iba pa (They need to earn so they will have food on their tables and sustain their families needs and pay for their rent, electricity, waters and others),” Villanueva said in a statement.
“Kaya po nais natin hilingin sa gobyerno na dahan-dahanin lang po ang paghahabol sa mga online sellers (This is why we ask the government to be lenient in going after online sellers). Huwag na po natin gamitin ang takot at pangamba upang hikayatin ang mga online seller na mag-rehistro (We shouldn’t be threatening them to compel them to register),” he appealed.
Instead, he said authorities should help them recover and succeed in their businesses by providing trainings on entrepreneurship.
This way, “mas makatitiyak tayo na maka-kolekta ng buwis kapag sigurado na ang kanilang kita (we will be able to ensure that we will collect enough taxes when their incomes are stable),” he said.
“We don’t discount the fact that there is a cost of doing business. What we hope the government does today is to help our online sellers minimize these costs of doing business just until our situation improves,” Villanueva said.
Earlier, Villanueva called on the government to first go after the Philippine offshore gaming operators, which owe the government at least P50 billion in unpaid tax obligations.