Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has commanded the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) to work together as a team in further strengthening tax and customs administration to hit the government’s total revenue collection target of P4.3 trillion in 2024.
Heeding President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s marching orders to sustain growth and ensure funds for social and infrastructure programs, Secretary Recto said the BIR and the BOC will be front and center in the government’s game plan for fiscal sustainability.
According to the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) Medium-Term Fiscal Program, the total revenue collection target for this year is expected to reach P4.3 trillion.
The bulk of the tax revenues amounting to P3.05 trillion will be generated by the BIR, while the BOC is expected to collect close to P1 trillion.
Recto acknowledged the challenging task of collecting more revenues amidst the ongoing challenges stemming from the pandemic and escalating external risks that disrupted the global supply chain and led to high inflation––a major concern for Filipinos.
“In the immediate term, inflation has to be tamed decisively and kept at bay. Ensuring that prices of goods remain stable and affordable is crucial to further grow the economy, consequently enabling us to boost revenue collection,” he said.
Recognizing the current economic challenges, the Finance Chief ordered the BIR and the BOC to collaborate closely in ensuring the ease of paying taxes and eliminating trade barriers that severely impact the country’s supply chains.
He emphasized that the government must not rely solely on imposing new or additional taxes, but also concentrate on optimizing the BIR and the BOC's performance through creativity, transparency, and efficiency in tax and customs administration.
In particular, the Finance Chief directed the BIR to swiftly implement the Ease of Paying Taxes Act to deliver on its promise of prompt, efficient, and excellent taxpayer service, ensuring that taxpayers receive value for their contributions.
He also instructed the Bureau to run after tax cheats and intensify its campaign for tax compliance in a fair manner that favors no one.
Meanwhile, Secretary Recto directed the BOC to channel all efforts towards significantly enhancing trade facilitation and strengthening border control to curb smuggling.
In this regard, he announced that the Department of Finance (DOF) is working with the Office of Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (SAPIEA)’s Secretary Frederick Go to implement an integrated system for pre-border verification and invoicing to reduce smuggling and misdeclarations.
Above all, the Finance Secretary emphasized the need for the BIR and BOC to safeguard the integrity of their operations by putting an end to corruption.
He likewise encouraged the Bureaus to accelerate their digitalization initiatives while at the same time embracing constant innovation for a more modern and effective governance system.
On the part of the DOF, Secretary Recto reiterated his support as a staunch partner for the BIR and BOC, pledging swift action on proposals and projects to enhance tax and customs administration while pushing forward more initiatives to grow the economy and broaden the tax base. PR