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PIA Press Release

P13.9-B budget surplus in August boosts PGMA's prospect for 2008 balanced budget

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (20 September) -- The prospects of achieving the target shortfall of P63 billion by the end of this year and the promise of President Arroyo of balancing the budget by 2008 is getting rosier with the budget surplus of P13.9 billion posted by Government in August, the second in a row.

The surplus last month, the fifth this year narrowed the eight month deficit to P25.5 billion from P39.4 billion incurred in the same period last year. This is attributed to improved collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

Despite the rosy figures, the government continues to push for concentrated and enhanced revenue collection efforts to sustain its performance for the rest of the year and throughout 2008 even as it rules out introducing new taxes.

On the part of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the focus would be on the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program in raising the much needed revenues for the government.

RATE is a program of the BIR against tax evaders, wherein the agency files cases against tax delinquents regardless of their class or status. Under the RATE program, the BIR has filed cases against movie actors, celebrities, singers, businessmen and politicians.

Aside from the RATE program, the Bureau would also do a more straight matching of taxpayer's income and withholding tax payments. BIR officials believe that there are revenues to raise from enhanced matching of taxpayer's income declaration, as well as their withholding tax payments.

The BIR has exceeded its August target collection as it collected P79.5 billion as a result of these enhanced measures.

Meanwhile, the bureau has an on-going amnesty program for taxpayers who have been evading or been delinquent in their tax payments.

With the government's revenue on track and the deficit down, it projects a stable fiscal outlook and its commitment in balancing the budget. (PIA La Union) [top]

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