Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asks questions to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal during the third public hearing on the Mamasapano incident. Santiago asks committee to reconsider showing Mamasapano video, says it can be admissible as evidence in court. (MNS photo)

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago asks questions to Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal during the third public hearing on the Mamasapano incident. Santiago asks committee to reconsider showing Mamasapano video, says it can be admissible as evidence in court. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has called for a Senate investigation on the P53.14 billion underpaid income taxes Malampaya contractors allegedly owe the government.

In Senate Resolution 1388, Santiago said the government must balance the interest between profit of investors and state revenue while at all times ensuring that public interest is primordial.

She said the Commission on Audit stated that Malampaya gas field owes the government P53.14 billion in underpaid income taxes from 2003 to 2009.

The contractors claimed that the amount was deductible from the government’s 60 percent share of taxes during the period.

This view was supported by the Department of Energy, but COA said Presidential Decree 87 and 1459 are clear that the minimum government share was 60 percent of the net earnings of any exploration.

Among the contractors involved were Shell Philippines Exploration BV, Chevron Malampaya LLC, and Philippine National Oil Company.

“Congress should intensify existing legislation to clarify revenue sharing issues on the Malampaya gas field project,” Santiago said in the resolution.

Malampaya is a deepwater gas-to-power project located in Palawan supplying three gas turbine power plants with a combined capacity of 2,760 megawatts of power. The companies extracting natural gas are required to pay corporate income taxes. (MNS)