Embattled broadcast network ABS-CBN has paid the government billions in taxes throughout 17 years, an executive said on Wednesday.
“From 2003 to 2019, ABS-CBN as a group paid P71.5 billion in taxes,” ABS-CBN Group chief financial officer Ricardo Tan said during a House joint panel hearing on the company’s franchise.
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Manuel Mapoy maintained that ABS-CBN has been regularly paying its corporate taxes, noting that the company paid over P15 billion in taxes between 2016 and 2019.
“There is no outstanding delinquent account as we speak,” Mapoy said when asked about ABS-CBN’s alleged violations of tax payments.
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate has warned of the significant impact that a shutdown of ABS-CBN will have on the economy.
“Sa panahon ngayon na grabe po ang krisis na dinadaanan natin, na pinalala pa ng pandemya ng COVID, ito yung bilyon na pwede mawala rin in the next 10 or 25 years, na supposedly na papasok sa ating pambansang ekonomiya,” he said.
Tan earlier refuted allegations that ABS-CBN did not comply with government rules on tax payments.
As early as February, the BIR set the record straight that the broadcast firm had no outstanding tax liabilities.
On Tuesday, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered ABS-CBN subsidiary Sky Cable Corp. to cease its direct broadcast services and also stopped the operations of Channel 43 following the May 5 shutdown of the network./Stacy Ang