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BIR conducts enforcement ops vs 13 illicit cigarette retailers in Iligan

by Lou Ellen Antonio

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)–The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) conducted enforcement operations on the illicit cigarette retailers in 13 stores, here, January 25.

The operation is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign against illegal cigarette traders.

BIR Region 16 Director Emir Abutazil said that reducing or eradicating the sale of illicit cigarettes can help increase the tax collection that can be used for funding basic services. According to BIR, the illicit cigarette trade costs the government between P50 billion and P100 billion in tax revenue.

“If we can reduce or eradicate the selling of illicit cigarettes, we can increase our tax collection. Dapat sana ‘yung P50-100 billion, will be intended to basic funds to finance health care programs pati ibang project ng government (The P50-100 billion should have been intended for basic funds to finance health care programs as well as other government projects),” he said.

Abutazil said covert operations were first conducted against listed taxpayers engaged in the illicit sale of cigarettes, violating the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. Hence, they were covered by the said operation through a mission order.

The confiscated cigarettes were then brought to the regional office in Cagayan de Oro City for inventory and storage before destruction.

Media partners from print and broadcast were also invited to witness the operations. A press conference was then held to strengthen the awareness campaign against selling illicit cigarettes.

The Philippine National Police also provided security during the said operations. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)



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