SC issues TRO vs BIR rule on doctors' rates

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2014 03:33 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2014 01:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of doctors who have challenged the legality of a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regulation.

BIR Revenue Regulation No. 4-2014 requires self-employed professionals to submit an affidavit of fixed service rates and fees, register their appointment books and issue receipts even for free services.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) filed separate petitions challenging the constitutionality of the revenue regulation.

In a statement on Tuesday, PCP president Dr. Anthony Leachon lauded the SC’s decision, saying that medical doctors “have taken the high road towards developing a culture of change to help the government’s advocacy in paying the right taxes.”

“On behalf of the medical doctors, I must thank Commissioner Kim Henares in providing us the support to comply with our obligation and pave the way for a partnership that restores pride and nobility in the medical profession. We are humbled by the SC decision, finding the PCP position meritorious and justifiable,” Leachon added.

Last April 22, the SC issued a TRO on the said regulation in as far as it covers lawyers.

The IBP had said that in issuing the regulation, the Department of Finance and BIR "transgressed their constitutional and statutory boundaries" and "encroached upon the exclusive authority and jurisdiction" of the high court to promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, legal practice, and the legal profession as a whole."