Sarangani, Philippines – While the Filipino people were still celebrating Manny Pacquiao’s victory over American Brandon Rios in last Saturday’s title fight in Macau, China, the Pinoy boxing champ has already set foot in the Haiyan typhoon-ravaged region of the Philippines, ready to personally provide relief to calamity victims using his own funds.
There was one problem. A Philippine court has frozen billions of pesos in Pacquiao’s bank accounts. The reason: the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Philippine counterpart of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), wants to see the original receipts to prove that the boxer paid taxes on his prize earnings.
The BIR, which has the distinct honor of consistently being voted the most corrupt government entity in the Philippines, seems to believe that the IRS issues “original receipts” for paid or withheld taxes like the ones customers get when they purchase items from a grocery store.
Both HBO and boxing promoter Top Rank have indicated that taxes were duly withheld from payments made to Pacquiao and subsequently electronically remitted to the IRS. But a statement from the BIR said, ” Well, we haven’t had our share of the pie.”
Upon learning of Pacquiao’s predicament, international fans of the boxer — individuals and companies alike — immediately set up a special relief fund for the boxer so that he can fulfill a promise he made earlier to personally help those affected by the super typhoon. As of this writing, the Manny Pacquaio Relief Fund has raised Two Million Dollars which is equivalent to over Eighty Million Philippine pesos. Offcials at the BIR are reportedly fuming because by law, they cannot touch a single centavo of funds designated for relief.
Double taxation has made a double champion of Pacquiao!