DOF mulls new unit to hike revenue collections

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2011 09:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 22 2011 07:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines - In keeping with the Aquino government's aim to improve tax administration, the Department of Finance is considering the creation of a new fiscal unit that will oversee the tax and customs collecting agencies.

In an interview with US think tank Global Source, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the new unit will be under the Finance Department and will work closely with the Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue.

This involves gathering and sharing market data from other countries, as well as secure filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange.

"There is still an opportunity to continue to improve collections through administrative measures. One is to enable us to use externally available information to help us improve collection," Purisima said.

"We are creating a model that will allow us to look at the whole country, initially by sectors. For example we can look at the car industry, if they report that their sales have increased by so much, the model can translate that into how much additional taxes and customs duties should be collected from that industry given the sales data information," Purisima said.

"It allows us to predict or estimate independently how much should be the payments," he added.

This would address a crucial issue faced by the BOC and BIR: the reliability of the financial data submitted to them.

Unreliable data, he explained, make it hard for the Finance Department to correctly predict the revenue collection for a specific sector.

"Right now, those who are meeting their targets are the ones considered performing. But in reality, they might be underperforming. Those who are not meeting their targets are probably the ones who are over performing because the targets were not properly set," Purisima said.