DOF to prioritize main tax agencies’ ICT

The Department of Finance (DOF) vowed to modernize the government’s main tax agencies following the swift approval of its proposed budget for next year.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Monday, Oct. 3, that the DOF is planning to spend P30.57 billion in 2023, higher by 14 percent compared with this year’s budget of P26.6 billion.

Diokno said that of the total funding for next year, the three revenue-generating agencies, the Bureau of the Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Customs, and Bureau of the Treasury, will receive the highest budget allocation.

The BIR, which contributes about two-thirds to government coffers, has P13.1 billion appropriation, followed by the Customs at P6 billion, and the Treasury at P4.2 billion.

Among the priorities of the DOF is the improvement of tax administration through the digitalization of the core functions and services of the BIR and the Customs, Diokno said.

The DOF’s proposed budget of P3.56 billion for information and communications technology programs and initiatives is equivalent to 29 percent of the 2023 national government’s expenditure program for digitalization.

Meanwhile, Diokno thanked the House of Representatives for the careful deliberation and swift approval of the proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget of the DOF.

“Many thanks to the Committee on Appropriations and our legislators for their careful deliberation of our budget. This will allow us to modernize our main revenue agencies and push for key economic reforms for robust and inclusive growth,” Diokno said.

Diokno and other DOF officials attended the plenary deliberation for House Bill 4488 or the 2023 General Appropriations Bill last Sept. 28, where the department budget was deliberated.

After the period of interpellation, legislators from the minority and majority jointly motioned to approve the DOF’s proposed budget, which includes the budget for its attached agencies and corporations.

The Senate began deliberating the DOF's budget in plenary on Monday, Oct. 3.