FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government’s goal of an inclusive growth can be achieved in the coming years, especially after the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act into law.
Dominguez said in a briefing the infrastructure modernization plans of the Duterte administration were starting to click into place with the rollout of the initial list of big-ticket projects, the early progress on the multi-year tax reform package and negotiations on official development assistance.
Dominguez said the rollout of big-ticket infrastructure projects were proceeding as planned following the signing into law by President Rodrigo Duterte and the subsequent implementation of the TRAIN, which slashed personal income tax rates while raising additional revenues for infrastructure and social services.
About 70 percent of the incremental revenues from the TRAIN have been earmarked for infrastructure, and up to 30 percent for social services, including unconditional cash transfers of P200 a month (or P2,400 per year) for the country’s 10 million poorest households for 2018. the subsidiy to the poor will increase to P300 a month (or P3,600 per year) in 2019 and 2020.
“The money is coming in from our taxes, the loans are coming in... . The implementing agencies are getting their act together. It’s coming together,” Dominguez said.
He said remarkable improvements in the collection efficiency by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, as reflected in their respective high accomplishment rates in 2017, was also a key factor in ensuring the government’s high-and-inclusive growth agenda was on track.
The BIR in 2017 achieved 97.2 percent of its revenue goal of P1.829 trillion, collecting a total of P1.777 trillion. The BoC collected P457.553 billion in 2017 against a revenue target of P467.896 billion, representing an accomplishment rate of 97.7 percent in 2017.
BoC Commissioner Isidro Lapena said in his report during a recent Executive Committee meeting of the Department of Finance that the customs bureau attained historical highs in monthly collections of P41 billion, P42 billion, P46 billion, and P44 billion in September, October, November and December, respectively, last year.
The BIR, meanwhile, said it also improved taxpayers service by streamlining processes and reducing the number of documentary requirements for taxpayers, which contributed to improving tax compliance.