Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. over the weekend chided the government for the miniscule support it is giving to people’s cooperatives.
At the same time, he called on the cooperatives to expand and strengthen its ranks so that more benefits will be gained by its members.
“Tapat ang aking paniniwala na napaka-importante na kailangan nating pasiglahin ang movement, ang kilusan ng kooperatiba dito sa Pilipinas… malaki ang kakulangan ng suporta na ibinibigay ng pamahalaan sa kooperatiba,” he said during the 10th General Membership Meeting of Southern Global Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative held at the Lyceum University in Calamba, Laguna.
Marcos also scolded anew Commissioner Kim Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue for continuing to extract taxes from small cooperatives that are levy-exempted under the law.
“Nasa batas na ang isang kooperatiba na mas maliit sa P10 milyon ay tax-exempt. ‘Yun lamang, ang ating BIR ay panay pa rin ang tax ng ating mga maliliit na kooperatiba,” he said.
Paragraph 1 of Article 61 of Republic Act No. 9520, entitled, “An Act Amending the Cooperative Code of the Philippines to be known as the Philippine Cooperative,” states that: “Cooperatives with accumulated reserves and undivided net savings of not more than Ten million pesos (P10,000,000.00) shall be exempt from all national, city, provincial, municipal or barangay taxes of whatever name and nature.”
It further states that: “Such cooperatives shall be exempt from customs duties, advance sales or compensating taxes on their importation of machineries, equipment and spare parts used by them and which are not available locally a certified by the department of trade and industry (DTI)...”
Marcos, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, has already sponsored Senate Bill 2134, entitled, "Cooperative Development Authority Charter Act," with a provision stating that “The certificate of registration issued to a duly registered cooperative, as validated in the certified list submitted by the Authority, shall ipso facto constitute as the sole legal basis or requirement for the full enjoyment of the tax exemption and other incentives granted under the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, notwithstanding any provision of law, executive order, rule or regulation to the contrary.”
“Iyan ang pinaglalaban natin at inilagay ko na sa bagong CDA (Cooperative Development Authority) charter na dapat ang mangyari kung ikaw ay kinilala na isang kooperatiba ng CDA, sapat na ‘yun na katunayan na ikaw ay functioning cooperative. Therefore, ikaw (kung maliit na cooperative) ay considered na tax exempt,” he said.