BACOLOD CITY – Sugar cooperatives no longer have to pay the value-added tax (VAT) on their sugar produce with the signing into law of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Tuesday.
President Macapagal-Arroyo signed the new code, now known as Republic Act 9520, into law in the presence of its principal sponsors – Zubiri, chairman of the Senate committee on cooperatives, and his House counterpart, Rep. Ernesto C. Pablo, at rites in Malacañang held Tuesday.
Sugar cooperatives in Negros Occidental had held protests and filed suits against officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) last year for collecting in advance the VAT on their refined sugar.
Zubiri told the Inquirer that under the new law, all raw, refined and processed sugar sold by sugar cooperatives would be free from VAT.
“The impact of the new Code will be felt across the country and in all sectors of the economy,” Zubiri said.
Data from the Cooperative Development Authority showed that the number of active registered cooperatives nationwide included 4,812 credit cooperatives, 1,369 consumer cooperatives, 1,409 producers’ cooperatives, 911 marketing cooperatives, 1,806 service cooperatives, 33,352 multi-purpose agriculture-based cooperatives and 24,623 multi-purpose non-agriculture based cooperative.
Zubiri said the new code “strengthened the powers of the general assembly, clarified the duties and liabilities of members and officers as well as the responsibilities, rights and privileges of cooperatives.” – Carla Gomez, Visayas Bureau