Nat’l gov’t revenue collections up 7.7% in Jan-June

By Anna Leah Gonzales

July 25, 2023, 3:32 pm

<p>Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno <em>(file photo)</em></p>

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno (file photo)

MANILA – Revenue collections of the national government already reached PHP1.9 trillion in the first half of the year, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

In his speech during the post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City Tuesday, Diokno said the revenue collections from January to June were higher by PHP133 billion or 7.7 percent year on year.

Tax collections went up by 7.5 percent while non-tax collections also grew by 9.1 percent.

"Our stellar performance was the result of higher economic activity and efficiency gains from the digital transformation of our revenue agencies," Diokno said.

"The digitalization of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs have continued to maximize the government’s revenue potential, simplify taxpayer compliance, and improve the ease of doing business."

Under the government's medium-term fiscal program, the government is projecting revenues to reach PHP3.73 trillion this year.

This is projected to increase to PHP4.20 trillion in 2024; PHP4.69 trillion in 2025; PHP5.25 trillion in 2026; PHP5.89 trillion in 2027; and PHP6.62 trillion in 2028.

"Sustaining robust revenue collection requires a simpler, fairer, and more efficient tax system, reinforced by a combination of tax policy and tax administration measures," Diokno said.

BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. said he is optimistic that the BIR would hit its revenue collection target this year.

"We are very hopeful that we will meet our collection target, especially with all the programs we initiated. We laid down the programs we want to implement in the bureau," Lumagui said on the sidelines of the post-SONA.

For this year, the BIR aims to collect a total of PHP2.6 trillion.

Lumagui said the bureau is addressing the bottlenecks to improve tax collection.

"We have four focus areas. (To provide) excellent taxpayers service, we’ve been doing the rounds, we’ve already determined the bottlenecks in majority of the transactions being made, and that’s why we’re trying to translate that to online services so you will not need to go to our offices," he said.

Lumagui said these focus areas are the intensification of enforcement activities, taxpayer service, integrity and professionalism, and digitalization.

He added that improved services would translate to an increase in revenue collection. (PNA)