Press Release
April 13, 2010

Villar's priority: Improve tax collection

If elected president, Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar vowed to work on improving tax collection system as one of his priorities in order to increase government revenues and enhance its services on education, health and infrastructure.

He said multi-tasking is a trait that is important in a president and this should be complemented with an ability to provide the mechanics for better tax administration and collection so that the intended beneficiaries will receive public services and projects.

"Alam po n'yo hindi n'yo puwedeng i-rank 'yan (education, health and infrastructure services)," Villar told DZMM Saturday when asked which of the three public services will be his priority if elected president. "Dapat iyan ay sabay-sabay."

The NP standard-bearer said leadership, competence and experience are the qualities that the next president must possess to be able to tackle the country's problems from Day One onwards.

"Ito yung sinasabi ko na ang pangulo ay [dapat maging] multi-tasker kasi hindi pwedeng ito muna ang uunahin ko, pangalawa ito muna, pangatlo ito," he added. "Sabay-sabay ho 'yan, masyadong behind na ang education, kalusugan at infrastructure natin."

But Villar underscored that the stewardship of a multi-tasking president could be undermined by limited funds. Thus, he is banking on improving revenue collection to beef up the national coffers.

"...Pero lahat ho 'yan, halimbawa, unang-una, mangangailangan 'yan ng magandang koleksyon ng bayan, kaya uunahin muna ang magandang collection ng ating revenues o buwis para mas marami kang magawa sa larangan ng education, kalusugan at infrastructure," he explained.

The fiscal deficit this year is projected to balloon to over P300 billion or about 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. This would entail fewer revenues for the government, and funds to substantially subsidize social services like education, health for the people, housing, transportation, etc. would be difficult to come by.

Increasing revenue collection is listed as one of the highlights of Villar's platform of government. The mechanics to improve efficiency include the computerization of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs to make it IT-competitive, the use of third-party information and involvement of LGUs and civil society in monitoring and improving tax-related services:

Punishing tax cheats to send a message that government means business in getting tax evaders, indexing sin taxes to inflation, creating a single national window for the BOC and doing away with legislations that will further squeeze revenue streams.

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