Pharmally did not pay SSS, PhilHealth, PAG-IBIG contributions to gov't: senator

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2021 05:34 PM

Screengrab from Senate hearing
Screengrab from Senate hearing

MANILA - Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp did not pay government-mandated contributions since it began operating in the Philippines, a senator said Friday as a Senate panel continued its investigation into the company's questionable deals with the administration.

While Pharmally had 7 employees, its annual income tax return shows that it has "zero contributions" to the Social Security System, Philippine Health Insurance Corp, and Pag-IBIG Fund, Sen. Joel Villanueva said.

"You have zero contributions to government-mandated contributions," Villanueva said during a Senate investigation.

Huang, however, asked the Senate to give him "time to collect records from our company" when asked to prove that they have been paying mandatory contributions for their 7 employees.

"Let me provide and collect these records to counter that statement," Huang said.

Pharmally's auditor, Iluminada Sebial, said she would have to check their documents to answer the senator's questions about their payments to government.

"Dapat alam mo 'yan," Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon told Pharmally officials.

(You're supposed to know that.)

"The money you are being paid by government goes to the billions of pesos," he said.

Senators have asked several government agencies to furnish the Blue Ribbon Committee with tax, importation and other documents related to Pharmally to check if the corporation has been skirting several laws.

The Senate panel investigated Pharmally after records showed that the Department of Budget and Management's Procurement Service (PS-DBM) awarded billions-worth of contracts to the company that only had P599,450 in capital.

Senators earlier said the PS-DBM bought overpriced face masks and RT-PCR test kits from the foreign company which is allegedly involved in fraudulent schemes in Taiwan, instead of procuring from local suppliers who were selling cheaper items.

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