MV Philippine Dream in Government Hands

On October 8th, 2007, the Philippine Government has re-possessed the MV Philippine Dream, who is also known as the Floating casino following its auction to a Singaporean company. The legal officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Neri Yu in Central Visayas, Philippines commented that the government took the ship after its previous owner failed to pay the right taxes.

Yu said that the Philippine Coast Guard possessed the ship while the BIR is still waiting for the rest of the payment from the winning bidder Aston PTE Limited. He added that Aston PTE Limited is already preparing to wire 59 million pesos from a bank in Singapore to a bank in Mandaue City, Philippines.

Once the whole payment is made, the BIR can make a certificate of sale and the winning bidder can take the ship. Aston PTE has asked if they would shoulder the remaining 12 million pesos with the Bureau of Customs. Yu said that the matter will be decided by the BIR Central Office within the week.

For the time being, the Coast Guard personnel, the Bureau of Customs and BIR representatives will keep an eye on the ship. The Coast Guard ship will remain beside the vessel until the whole payment was made. The crew of the MV Philippine Dream was disturbed when the personnel from the Coast Guard confiscated the ship on Monday.

Captain Amy Dumdum of the MV Philippine Dream commented that he and his crew were not given any document that proves that BIR now owns the ship. He said that they will not leave the ship unless the owners order them to vacate it. He added that the lawyer for the company told them to stay in the ship until he talks with the Finance Secretary.

But Yu said that there is nothing to talk about because the tax issue regarding the MV Philippine Dream was already finished. He said that the representatives from the ex-owner of the MV Philippine Dream met with representatives from the BIR last week and were told that their position has become immaterial.