Cooperatives must be exempted from paying taxes because of their job generation that puts them in the sidelines of the development process and helping communities in disasters and calamities, Orland Ravanera, cooperative development authority director, claimed yesterday.
Ravanera was in Bacolod City as guest in the 16th General Assembly of Federation of People’ Sustainable Development Cooperatives at L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod.
Former Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino, meanwhile, lauded the cooperative housing and sustainable community project of the FPSDC, yesterday, for providing 750 houses to the victims of typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.
Ravanera said the Bureau of Internal Revenue questioned cooperatives about their taxes because it does not see what the cooperatives do about social responsibility.
He said the Republic Act 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 states that cooperatives are tax exempt but some cynical people question their exemption.
He said they should be given the privilege of tax exemption because they are using part of their surplus for social responsibility, such as giving houses to the homeless especially to victims of ecological disasters.
“I am calling all cooperatives to prove and to solidify that stand and to those who have the propensity to tax them, let this be a notice that cooperatives are standing up to the call of their social responsibility,” Ravanera said.
Meanwhile, Aquino, who is also the chairman of the Philippine Cooperative Center, said “We have the cooperative housing but there no showcase like this and this is a good example of what cooperative housing can do to help a community and help its members to have their own residences.
He said he trusts FDSDC to carry the project and PCC will help them succeed as they intend to implement its project to be a model for other cooperatives.
He added that housing is one of the basic needs of the people and it is as important as food, health, education, and transportation.
Dr. Billy Tusalem, FPSDC chair, also said they like to envision their effort to become a national initiative in the context of cooperativism.
“We talk about business here not based on the context of capitalism but a business where social equity will is promoted,” Tusalem said.
Meanwhile, Aquino also said that for 2012, PCC will highlight business opportunities for the cooperatives in which they should learn how to make all their projects sustainable.*LTG