News Briefs: March 2, 2017

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Stories from across the Philippines on Thursday, March 2

P2B worth of cigarettes with fake tax stamps seized in Pampanga

PAMPANGA – About P2 billion worth of cigarettes with bogus tax stamps were found in 5 warehouses at the San Simon Industrial Park in San Simon town in Pampanga on Wednesday, March 1.

Norma Del Rosario of the Bureau of Customs intelligence and investigation service said the fake tax stamps were detected using a device that shows whether a tax stamp is authentic or counterfeit.

“If the gadget showed a green light, it means the tax stamp is authentic, that it came from the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). If it showed a red light, it means the stamp is fake and that it did not come from the true manufacturer of the tax stamps because it has different chemical compound,” she said.

While the tax stamps are counterfeit, technical experts will be sent to the location to validate whether or not the cigarettes themselves are authentic. If the cigarettes are authentic, then the counterfeit stamps were done to avoid paying taxes on the authentic products. 

Captain Joel Pogoy, technical assistant of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, said a box of the cigarettes costs P25,000 to P30,000. “If no tax was paid for these cigarettes, the government will lose hundreds of millions of pesos in revenue because 30% should go to the government. In P1 billion, the government would already lose P300 million,” he explained. – Jun Malig/

NGCP tower bombed in Cotabato

MANILA, Philippines – A tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Barangay Kayaga, Kabacan, in Cotabato was bombed Wednesday night, March 1, the NGCP said in a statement.

The bombing of NGCP’s Tower #138 of Kibawe-Kabacan 138kV line is the first bombing of an NGCP tower in 2017.

“Fortunately, there was no major damage on the tower. Inspection of the tower and repair will commence as soon as the area is secured,” the NGCP said.

The NGCP reiterated that such incidents would only burden the public as they often lead to service interruptions– 



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