Senate probe eyed on BIR ad depicting doctors as tax evaders

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SENATOR Nancy Binay is set to file a resolution calling for an investigation on the controversial tax campaign advertisement of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) depicting doctors as tax cheats.

"I am urging my fellow senators to look into whether the portrayal of doctors as a burden to other tax payers in the print ad was done in bad taste," Binay said.

In the print ad, a doctor is shown perched on the shoulders of a grade school teacher indicating that while doctors rake in millions, the taxes they pay are much smaller than those of teachers.

The message of the ad went: "When you don't pay your taxes, you're a burden to those who do. Do your share."

BIR campaign photo

The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) cried foul over the campaign, saying it was "unfair" to stereotype medical doctors as tax cheats.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said that the PMA should not feel alluded to by the campaign if they are paying the right taxes. "Bato-bato sa langit, ang matamaan huwag magalit," she said.

Binay, however, wants to know the basis of the advertisement.

"Matatawag ho ba na responsableng paga-advertise ito? I think we should investigate how the ad was conceptualized -- saan po ba nanggaling ang desisyon na ngayon ay ikinalulungkot ng ating mga doktor?" she said.

"Tama po ba na gawing ehemplo ng tax evaders ang mga doktor na ating hinihingan ng tulong kapag mayroon tayong iniindang karamdaman? Kung may mga reports nga po ng mga doktor na hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis at hindi nagi-issue ng resibo -- tama pa rin po ba na mag-generalize ang BIR sa mga advertisements na ito?" Binay asked.

The BIR also took a hit at online sellers, and accountants in their two other advertisements. (Sunnex)

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