It seems bad news is originating out of the Philippines when it comes to combat sports in general for August. Earlier this month, it was reported that Filipino MMA fighter Ale Cali was murdered in cold blood. Known for his run in PXC, Cali was shot dead in broad daylight on Sunday morning, August 16, 2015. Right now, the investigation is ongoing as the murder may be a result of a personal vendetta or a traffic altercation.
Though not as tragic as Ale Cali’s case, another combat sports athlete from the Philippines has been “hurt.” Jujeath Nagaowa was forced to pay a customs tax on her championship belt by the Bureau of Customs.
According to Rappler, the 27-year-old Filipina boxer from Baguio City was forced by the Bureau of Customs to pay a total of ₱5,819 (about $124 USD) – in which ₱3,027.13 is for customs duty, and ₱2,782 was added tax value – for her championship title belt valued at ₱20,147.77 ($431 USD). This is a peculiar situation given the fact trophies, championships, and the like are usually omitted from being taxed. Still, Jujeath Nagaowa looked to her friends for help and together, they were able to get back Nagaowa’s title belt.
“Yes, it’s true and yes it hurts, that after battling full 10 rounds of boxing for this belt, and after some days of agony waiting for it’s arrival in my place, so much disappointed coz this big thing of mine is also waiting for me for a trade before claiming it.”
To win the junior flyweight championship in Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA), Jujeath Nagaowa fought against Luo Yu Jie in Macau. Nagowa won via decision after ten rounds on June 6, 2015. Needless to say, winning the championship was very important to Nagaowa because her past eight championship attempts were failures.
Nevertheless, this situation is presently being looked into, as reported by Manila Bulletin. Alberto Lina, customs commissioner, is assigning men at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to investigate whether or not Jujeath Nagaowa was asked to pay taxes on her championship.
“We would look into it. We would coordinate with the concerned people from the NAIA and get the facts.”
This is surely a means for damage control given the fact the Bureau of Customs is considered one of the most corrupt agencies in the Philippines. As for Jujeath Nagaowa, Alberto Lina says all the money she paid in taxes can be refunded if she secures a tax exemption.
[Image via Jujeath Nagaowa’s Personal Facebook Page]