Press Release
April 27, 2010


The administration of Senator Benigno S. Aquino III and Senator Mar Roxas II will make sure that taxes will not be raised under an Aquino-Roxas Administration just to shore up government revenues.

Specifically, Roxas said they will not raise the value-added tax by 3% to 15% from the current 12% as proposed by the finance department because this is a direct tax that heavily burdens the poor especially.

According to Roxas, the government should instead go after erring officials in the state revenue agencies such as the Customs and Internal Revenue bureaus to raise the tax take.

"Corrupt officials should be held liable. We will push for reform in revenue agencies and good governance so that we would not resort to raising taxes for the public," Roxas pointed out.

Instead of increasing current tax rates, the Aquino-Roxas administration would target large taxpayers that do not pay taxes correctly. As part of their reform program, Roxas insisted that they would punish tax evaders and smugglers as there rob the government of additional revenues.

"Under the Aquino-Roxas administration, we will do our best to solve the perennial problem of poor tax collection. We will remove corrupt officials of the BIR and Customs and those who pocket funds for government projects, as well as intelligence funds," Roxas said.

Roxas believes that if the government could raise its tax take to 15% from the current 12.8%, annual tax collection would increase by about P160 billion that would help ease budget deficit.

It was estimated that the government lost at least P280 billion in 2009 due to corruption due to the failure of the Arroyo administration to pursue genuine reforms in the finance sector.

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