Benjamin Diokno: “We have room for better tax collection using technology.”
BENJAMIN DIOKNO — On Monday, the incoming Finance Secretary said that digitalization can improve the Philippines’ tax collections and can generate more revenues.
Diokno, who is also the outgoing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor, told ANC that making tax payments user-friendly will help boost tax collections in the country.
“With digitalization, taxes are now being paid digitally rather than lining up at the BIR office which is cumbersome and it leads to corruption sometimes,” Diokno said.
According to Diokno, outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will leave behind new tax reforms that could be enhanced in terms of implementation in order to cover the revenue needs.
Diokno added that President Duterte’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) includes a reduction in corporate and personal income taxes while raising duties for petroleum, tobacco, and sugary products, among others.
Earlier, outgoing Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III introduced a new fiscal consolidation plan which involves the deferment of personal income tax reductions and wider tax and VAT in order to raise funds for debt payment. However, Diokno said that other measures should be explored before studying new taxes.
President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr earlier said that imposing more taxes on Pinoys who are still suffering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic needs further study.
According to Diokno, the Marcos administration also aims to cut the deficit-to-GDP ratio to 7.6% in 2022, 6.1% in 2023, 5.1% in 2024, and 4.1% in 2025 before reaching 3% by the end of the term.
He also said that the country should continue its “Build, Build, Build” program instead of cutting expenditures in order to boost growth as well as jobs.
“I’m very confident that with the new tax system because of the reforms done, we will be able to raise enough taxes to ensure that we meet our deficit target,” de said.