MANILA - Members of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has given their support to the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) efforts for greater tax compliance among medical doctors.
In a statement, PCP President Priscilla B. Caguioa said: “Foremost in our tasks and responsibilities as medical doctors is to serve, guided by our moral obligation to provide the optimum care to individuals who are in need. We, in the PCP, have fought for necessary reforms to clean our own ranks. We have been successful doing so, but not without the government’s cooperation and encouragement.”
Because of these reforms, the group saw a “palpable increase” among members in their issuance of receipts, reliable maintenance of records, VAT registration, as well as the payment of taxes.
“Honest compliance is part and parcel of the ethical responsibilities of any professional in contributing his or her share in nation building,” Caguioa said.
She noted the PCP was at the forefront of pushing for the passage of the Sin Tax Law.
“Apart from the campaign’s obvious health components and effects, PCP’s sin tax advocacy resulted in the increase in taxes imposed on tobacco and alcoholic beverages. The effort would not have succeeded without its partnership with the BIR, among others,” she said.
Because of the Sin Tax Law, the government has been empowered to meet its Universal Health Care goal. “Specifically, the sin tax law has generated PHP 91.6 B in 2013 to add to the DOH budget of 88 B - essentially doubling the health agency budget.”
Caguioa noted that doctors are trying to emulate the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal - a physician.
“Like him, our members try very hard on a day to day basis to emulate his ideals and values to rise up to the huge challenge of the medical profession we dearly love. We must continue to build a community of ethical professionals who vow to serve the people, including helping this government’s thrust of good governance and transparency. We are one in building this nation because this is where we belong, as a people,” she said.