BIR, taxpayers’ support key to post-pandemic recovery

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III (File photo)

MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Thursday investing more in infrastructure, social services and climate action to stimulate growth as the government begins the urgent task of outgrowing its pandemic-induced debt are “doable” with the support of the nation’s taxpayers and the sustained strong performance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
During the kickoff of the BIR’s tax campaign, he underscored the critical role played by taxpayers in helping ensure the country’s rapid and sustainable economic recovery.
The BIR, meanwhile, should continue making progress in its digital transformation programs, Dominguez said, as he encouraged all taxpayers to make use of electronic channels to file and pay their taxes this year.
“To the men and women of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and our most loyal taxpayers, remember that all of you are not just producing revenues. All of you are the shock troops leading in this historic moment of rebuilding our nation into one that our children and their children deserve. You are all creating a better future for the Filipino people,” he said at the event held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Dominguez said the new generation of entrepreneurs and emerging businesses in the new economy should be reminded of their duty “to ensure that our country moves forward through their prompt and correct payment of taxes.”
He congratulated the BIR under the leadership of Commissioner Caesar Dulay for launching this year’s tax campaign kickoff.
“Your dedication, your professionalism, and your patriotism helped the bureau consistently meet its annual collection target to help build a prosperous future for the Filipino people,” he added.
Dominguez said the game-changing reforms started by the Duterte administration helped transform the Philippines into one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, resulting in historic low unemployment and underemployment rates and a country poised to attain upper-middle-income status by 2020 before the pandemic struck.
He said the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) was merely a temporary setback that the Philippines was able to overcome owing to the tax reforms and enhanced tax administration that helped it gain the financial strength to weather the worst of the crisis.
As a result of the unexpected costs of Covid-19 and lower revenue collections during the pandemic-spawned economic slowdowns, the country’s budget deficit and debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio rose temporarily, but these remain manageable, he added.
Dominguez also assured the public anew that President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team has already formulated a program to limit the deficit and improve the debt-to-GDP ratio as part of the fiscal consolidation plan that it will turn over to the next administration.
Essential to this fiscal consolidation program is the improvement of revenue collections to meet the government’s expenditure requirements, he said. (PR)

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