Drilon prods BIR to study possible tax liabilities of Pharmally, other sup-pliers of pandemic items


SENATE Minority Leader Frank Drilon has prodded the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to check possible non-payment of right taxes by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation and other suppliers of pandemic-related products ordered by the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

The senator suggested it may be better for the BIR to create a task force that will review whether the suppliers of billions of pesos in face masks, shields and Covid-19 testing kits paid the correct taxes.

If it is shown that the right taxes were not paid, this would be another case against, for example, the low-capital startup Pharmally that was earlier linked to alleged irregularities such as overpricing and delivery of substandard supplies.

Drilon made the disclosure after the tax records of the supplying firm and its officials were unearthed and turned over by the BIR to the Senate, and Drilon made them public at the 13th hearing by the Blue Ribbon Committee chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon.

Drilon noted that based on the tax documents submitted to BIR in 2020 when Pharmally “cornered” over P10.40 billion in several contracts, Pharmally even sought tax credits amounting to over P96 million, and claimed overpayment of tax due of over P589,163.

In addition, the senator pointed out that Pharmally officials Twinkle and Mohit Dargani – siblings who are the president and corporate secretary, respectively — were able to buy luxury cars after getting the contracts from the PS DBM. This, even as their tax records showed payment of minimal taxes.

Apart from them, the senator suggested that authorities also investigate the Element Trade Limited that was “given by PS-DBM P6.99 billion” in contracts for the pandemic supplies; a P5.22-billion contract with the Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation; and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group that got P2.23 billion worth of contracts, while admitting no taxes were paid; and the Hafid N’ Erasmus Corporation which bagged P1.91 billion worth of contracts.

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