MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' main tax agency said on Friday it missed its August revenue goal, but collections last month and in the first eight months of the year were higher than a year ago.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which accounts for two-thirds of total tax collection, had revenue of P96.8 billion($2.3 billion) in August, below a target of P103.7 billion but 10 percent higher than a year earlier.
In the eight months to August, the agency collected P701.43 billion, 13.2 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier.
The agency needs to collect P365 billion in the last four months of the year to meet its full-year goal of P1.07 trillion, more than 15 percent higher than the previous year's actual collections.
The Philippines, one of the prolific global bond issuers among emerging economies, has been repeatedly told by credit rating agencies to improve weak tax revenue so it can cut debt levels further and win an investment-grade sovereign rating.
Manila has been trying to fight tax evasion and corruption in the collection process, rather than imposing new taxes. It has filed a number tax evasion cases against individuals and corporations.
It is also pushing for legislation that would increase taxes on cigarettes and alcohol and generate 60 billion pesos in additional revenues in the first year of the proposed measure's implementation.