P-Noy calls for aggressive tax efforts

August 3, 2010 11:03 am 

MANILA, Aug. 2 –President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to step up its tax collection efforts and raise the revenue level to at least 15 percent (as ratio to the national gross domestic product) to support vital programs and projects of his administration.

President Aquino said he was confident that a 15 percent tax effort ratio from the present 13 percent can be achieved as such has happened before.

"During the time of former President Fidel V. Ramos, we have reached the tax effort ratio of 17 percent. Let us help each other to increase the current 13 percent to 15 percent before my term ends," the President said in a speech during the 106th anniversary celebration of the BIR Monday at Agham Road in Quezon City.

He expressed optimism that the BIR could achieve its P860 billion revenue target for 2010, even as the administration tries to cope with a budget deficit, which could run up to about P320 billion by yearend.

As the main tax agency, the BIR collects more than 70 percent of government revenues, followed by the Bureau of Customs (BoC). The tax effort ratio measures the taxes or revenues collected by the BIR and the BoC as in relation to GDP.

The Chief Executive reiterated his directive to the BIR to intensify its implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program, which includes the criminal prosecution of erring businesses and individuals.

The President exhorted businessmen and other large taxpayers to show their sense of patriotism by paying the right amount of taxes so that government can fund vital programs and projects, particularly in infrastructure, education, health, jobs generation and social services.

In her welcoming remarks, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares reported to the President that the bureau was able to collect only P403 billion from the projected target of P420 billion for the first six months of the year.

The President encouraged the BIR tax collectors to hit the P860 billion target for this year.

“Naniniwala ako na ang mga tulad ninyo na nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay likas na tapat at mahusay sa trabaho. Marami sa inyo ay wala namang ninanais kung hindi ang makatulong sa pagunlad ng ating bansa,” the President stressed.

“Magtulungan tayo upang maitaas man lang natin ang kasalukuyang 13 porsiyento sa 15 porsiyento bago matapos ang aking panunungkulan. Kung nagawa ninyo ito noon, magagawa ulit ninyo ngayon.”

The President said he will also direct the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately grant rewards to efficient public servants, notably those who can help identify and catch tax evaders and smugglers.

The BIR celebration was highlighted by the awarding of plaques of appreciation by the President to 2009’s top corporate taxpayers, Nestle Philippines, Inc. and Monde MY San Corp.

The President, assisted by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Henares, also awarded plaques of appreciation to the BIR’s private sector partners and donor agencies such as the World Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Millennium Challenge Corp., Asian Development Bank and Swedish International Cooperation Agency. (PNA) RMA/OPS/ssc

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