MANILA, Philippines – The Aquino government can take advantage of its popularity to push new tax measures soon as this is key in meeting its growth targets, a former finance secretary said in a business forum on Thursday, January 26.
Roberto de Ocampo, who served under the Ramos administration, said that at the Arangkada business forum that the government has to firm up its revenue base, weather through new taxes or rationalization of incentives.
“While I laud the DOF’s (finance department) commitment to tax compliance rather than new taxes to raise funds, I still believe it would eventually need a balanced approach between effective tax administration and measures to expand the tax base to really pull it off,” he told the audience composed of foreign chamber members, local businessmen, consultants and advocates.
One of President Aquino’s campaign promises was that no new taxes will be imposed as his administration would pursue tax cheats and smugglers first.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and his chiefs under the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, have been filing tax evasion or smuggling charges against individuals and entities since 2010.
Despite the name and shame campaign, however, both bureaus have likely missed their 2011 targets.
De Ocampo said the Aquino government should pursue new taxes and incentives rationalization “sooner rather than later.”
“But can it be done? Definitely yes. Not this year, but I’m positive that this is possible in the coming years given the proper environment,” he said, adding that the popularity of President Aquino could help push these fiscal efforts.
Among the tax measures, sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol products have been considered as one of the measures the Aquino government can pursue. – Rappler.com