President Duterte’s chief economic manager said the country’s recovery efforts from pandemic has no room for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the government’s main tax agency, to fail in raising much-needed revenues.
After the bureau addressed the tax issues involving the prizes given to Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the BIR should also “go for the gold” by surpassing its P2.08 trillion collection target this year.
“There is no room for our revenue efforts to fail,” Dominguez said during the BIR’s 117th anniversary on Monday, August 2. “To win this battle for our economic recovery, everything depends on the Bureau’s success in raising much-needed revenues.”
As of June this year, the BIR was ahead of its collection target raising P1.032 trillion, slightly higher than the P1.018 trillion program set by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.
The BIR, which contributes about two-thirds to government coffers, surpassed its collection target last year by 16 percent to P1.95 trillion.
“This is my marching order to the men and women of the Bureau of Internal Revenue: go for the gold. I urge the agency to not just meet, but exceed its collection targets this year and beyond,” Dominguez said.
Last week, the BIR clarified that Diaz’s cash prize from the government will not be taxed, while donations given to her by businesses, private individuals, and entities will be subject to donor’s tax.
Like how the Philippines’ sports hero Diaz had trained long and hard for her Olympic victory, the government came fully prepared to meet the global crisis head-on through years of fiscal discipline and prudence, the finance chief said.
Amid the protracted battle against the pandemic, Dominguez expressed confidence that the BIR’s dedicated workforce, “will rise to the challenge and lift our country to faster economic recovery.”
“The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s victory means a secure fiscal future for the country and better economic outcomes for the Filipino people,” he said.
“The economic downturn translates into decreased revenues. At the same time, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant means that the government needs to spend more for public health, including the procurement of booster shots,” Dominguez said.
Meanwhile, Dominguez commended BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay for embarking on a comprehensive digitalization program ahead of the pandemic that enabled the agency to continue functioning effectively during the lockdowns.