5 Zambo malls padlocked for unpaid taxes pay BIR P5-M to reopen

ZAMBOANGA CITY, (Mindanews/10 September) – Owners of five malls recently padlocked by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for non-payment of P54 million in taxes have deposited P5M to be able to resume business.

This was announced by Mayor Celso Lobregat, who met Friday afternoon the owners of the five malls and other stakeholders, to address the plight of thousands workers affected by the closure order.

BIR Regional Director Rozil Lozares led last Wednesday the Operation Plan Kandado (Oplan Kandado) team in serving the closure order to the management of  Shoppers’ Central, Shoppers’ Center, Shoppers’ Emporium, Shoppers’ Square and Shoppers’ Plaza, all belonging to the Shoppers’ chain of stores, for non-payment of  P54 M in taxes.

Lozares said the closure order was issued by BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henarez by virtue of Section 115 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

The closure of the five business establishments was also based on a recommendatory report of the investigating office as reviewed by the National Review Board, Lozares said.

Lozares said management of the Shoppers’ chain of stores was required to pay the government at least five percent of the basic tax dues within a five-day period.

He added the five malls will be closed for a long period if management cannot pay the five percent.

Lobregat said the Shoppers’ chain of stores management deposited P5 million as of Thursday, a day after the BIR padlocked the five malls as a show of good faith and hops the closure order will be lifted.

The management of the malls has written the BIR to lift the closure order so the workers can return to work.

It also appealed for reconsideration, recomputation and settlement of the taxes.

Lobregat said the management of the Shoppers’ chain of stores has agreed to pay in full the salaries of the employees from September 7, Wednesday, until Sunday, September 11.

Among those who attended Friday afternoon’s meeting which the mayor called specifically to address the plight of the mall workers were officials of the  Department of Labor and Employees, Employees Confederation of the Philippines, Public Employment Service Office, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“Our concern is the plight of the workers,” Lobregat explained why he called for the meeting citing the concern about payment of taxes is a concern of the owners of the shopping malls and the BIR. (MindaNews)