By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. encouraged yesterday leaders and managers of the 25,000 cooperatives to attain tax-exempt status for all cooperatives in the whole country as there are government policies hampering the development of the cooperative movement.
Marcos, vice chairman of the Senate cooperatives committee, made the call in a keynote address at the 5th Cooperative TEAMshop in Boracay.
The vice presidential candidate of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago noted that despite tax incentives the law grants to cooperatives, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) imposes requirements making it difficult for them to enjoy such privilege.
“The BIR requires cooperatives to get a Certificate of Tax Exemption (CTE) before they can avail of their tax-free privilege, and even before they can get a CTE, cooperatives must first get a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA),’’ Marcos pointed out.
“I cannot help but express my dismay, because not only does this serve to defeat the beneficial purpose of the law, it also serves to cause a regression of all our cooperative development efforts,” he added.
Marcos observed “it seems that BIR Commissioner Kim Henares assumes that Cooperatives are not beneficial and accused that many cooperatives are in existence only to circumvent labor and tax laws.’’
“In accordance with the state policy of fostering the growth of cooperatives, the law stipulates that cooperatives who deal exclusively with their members are tax-free while those that deal with non-members are granted limited exemption,” he said.
Marcos said that out of the 25,000 cooperatives registered with the CDA, only about 11,600 have secured CGS while only 6,295 were issues CTE by the BIR.
“I challenge you to achieve your 2020 vision of making cooperative the business model preferred by people and the fastest growing form of enterprise,’’ Marcos members of cooperatives present.
“Like you and the whole cooperatives sector, I too dream of reaching the 2010 Vision for the cooperatives. I ask you to join me in making this dream come true,” Marcos said.