MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' main tax agency said on Thursday its July collection was 4 percent below its target, but total revenue to date rose nearly 14 percent, suggesting the administration remained on course to achieve the full year collection target.
Manila has stepped up its campaign against tax evasion and widespread corruption to boost revenues and enable the government to accelerate spending while reining in the budget deficit.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue, which accounts for two-thirds of total tax collection, said its July revenue was up 13.2 percent from a year earlier at P83.52 billion ($2 billion). The goal for the month was P87.35 billion.
It did not give any reason for falling short.
The July collection brought the agency's revenue in the first seven months to P604.68 billion , up 13.7 percent from a year earlier.
The government is looking to accelerate spending in the second half to help meet its 5 to 6 percent growth target this year as a global slowdown crimps demand for its exports.
To allow for greater expenditure at home, it has set the budget deficit at 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, up from 2.0 percent last year.
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last month raised the country's credit rating to one notch below investment grade, citing improved fiscal flexibility and strong external position.