Press Release
July 20, 2010

More than running after tax evaders

While the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs' (BOC) efforts to run after and file cases against errant taxpayers is a welcome start to boost the country's revenue collection, Senator Chiz Escudero said he wants to see this move coupled with institutional changes to effect real collection.

BIR and BOC today announced that they will file cases versus tax evaders and smugglers every week.

Escudero said this move should be done side by side with real and actual collection of revenues; otherwise the good start might just be consigned as a "cosmetic collection".

"Institutional changes should be made because this will enable them to really collect. Note that it will still take some time before the cases are won in court, that is assuming they will win" Escudero said.

The senator said the BOC and BIR should review and reassess the current practice of how collection is performed.

"The BIR in its own study says 35% of potential revenues are lost due to collection loopholes. Thus, plugging collection loopholes in itself can already raise billions of added revenues".

He added that in improving collection efficiency, the country's top revenue collecting agencies should start cleaning house and address the issue of graft and corruption squarely.

Escudero said once these lagging areas in revenue collection are connected, real and actual collection will really take place. "Then we could translate this to better access to social services like education and health, the ability to fund infrastructure and disaster preparedness".

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