Philippine Laws: January 2011

In the absence of any new law approved in January 2011, it may be interesting to discuss the legislative bill that has created a lot of ruckus in recent weeks—the Consolidated Reproductive Health (RH) Bill of the 15th Congress. 

By way of background, there have been five RH Bills filed with the 15th Congress—(a) the 28-section House Bill No. 96, introduced by Hon. Edcel C. Lagman; (b) the 25-section House Bill No. 101, introduced by Hon. Janette L. Garin, M.D.; (c) the 24-section House Bill No. 1160, introduced by Hon. Rodolfo G. Biazon; (d) the 7-section House Bill No. 1520, introduced by Hon. Augusto Boboy Syjuco, PhD; and (e) the 36-section House Bill No. 3387, introduced by Gabriela’s Hon. Luzviminda C. Ilagan, Anakpawis’s Hon. Rafael Mariano, ACT Teachers’ Hon. Antonio Tinio, and Kabataan Partylist’s Raymond Palatino.

The Consolidated RH Bill proposes to enact “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011.”  Its Declaration of Policy appears laudable as it declares that (i) the State recognizes and guarantees “the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons, particularly of parents, couples and women, consistent with their religious convictions, cultural beliefs and the demands of responsible parenthood” and, toward this end, “there shall be no discrimination against any person on grounds such as sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation and ethnicity”; (ii) the State recognizes and guarantees “the promotion of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment as a health and human rights concern” and “the promotion of the welfare and rights of children”; (iii) the State likewise guarantees “universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information and education thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors”; and (iv) the State shall “eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights”.

So, why then are there vehement oppositions to the Consolidated RH Bill, especially from certain church leaders and stalwarts?

January 2011 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Tax Law

Here are selected January 2011 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on tax law:

National Internal Revenue Code; section 76; option to carry-over excess income tax payments to succeeding taxable years; option irrevocable. Under section 76 of the National Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code) in case of overpayment of income taxes, a corporation may either file a claim for refund or carry-over the excess payments to the succeeding taxable year and the availment of one remedy precludes the other. However, unlike section 69 of the previous Tax Code, the carry-over of excess income tax payments is no longer limited to the succeeding taxable year but is carried over to the succeeding taxable year until fully utilized. Moreover, the option to carry-over excess income tax payments is not irrevocable. Hence; unutilized excess income tax payments may no longer be refunded. Belle Corporation vs Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 181298, January 10, 2011.

National Internal Revenue Code; value-added tax; claim for credit or refund of input value-added tax; requirements. In its section 112 (A), the National Internal Revenue Code sets down the following requirements in a claim for credit or refund of input value-added tax (VAT): (1) the taxpayer must be VAT registered, (2) the taxpayer must be engaged in sales which are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated, (3) the claim must be filed within two years after the close of the taxable quarter when such sales were made, and (4) the creditable input VAT due or paid must be attributable to such sales, except the transitional input VAT, to the extent that such input VAT has not been applied against the output VAT.  Silicon Philippines, Inc. (formerly Intel Philippines Manufacturing, Inc.) vs Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 172378, January 17, 2011.

National Internal Revenue Code; value-added tax; claim for credit or refund of input value-added tax; authority to print. The authority to print (ATP) need not be reflected or indicated in the invoices or receipts because there is no law or regulation requiring it. In the absence of such law or regulation, failure to print the ATP on the invoices or receipts should not result in the outright denial of a claim or the invalidation of the invoices or receipts for purposes of claiming a refund. However, section 238 of the National Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code) expressly requires persons engaged in business to secure an ATP from the Bureau of Internal Revenue prior to printing invoices or receipts. Under section 112 (A) of the Tax Code, a claimant must be engaged in sales which are zero-rated or effectively zero-rated. To prove this, duly registered invoices or receipts evidencing zero-rated sales must be presented. However, since the ATP is not indicated in the invoices or receipts, the only way to verify whether the invoices or receipts are duly registered is by requiring the claimant to present its ATP from the BIR. Without this proof, the invoices or receipts would have no probative value for the purpose of refund.  Silicon Philippines, Inc. (formerly Intel Philippines Manufacturing, Inc.) vs Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. 172378, January 17, 2011.

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