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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Graft, smuggling bottlenecks to a growing economy

By Miriam P. Aquino

San Fernando City, La Union (31 October) -- As the Administration focuses on addressing the needs of the people and boosting economic growth shown by the strengthening of our peso vis--vis the U.S. greenbuck, a further decrease in prices of basic commodities, lowering inflation and strengthening the bureaucracy, it also takes time to beat the challenge of a worsening graft and corruption, as this serves as one of the bottleneck to our growing economy.

The president announced recently a plan to give salary increases for state workers for the next four years, and she mentioned that the government has allotted some P172 Billion in staggard payments, spending P10 B in 2007; P32 B in 2008; P55 B in 2009 and a hefty P75 in 2010 for the entire government workforce.

This positively shows a complete benefit for the ailing workers in augmenting their survival for a better living. But where and how will these benefits come from, we should know at least.

Granted the P62 Million to fight money laundering shows a clear support in the administration's battle against graft and corruption and in doing so, the chief executive appeals to everybody including the private sector to assist in monitoring all government agencies/officials in its bid to topple down grafters and corrupt officials in the country.

Primary agencies concerned like the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are urged to continue their good/improving revenue collections, at the same time asking all agencies to be more cautious in spending government funds as well as the private and public sector to be honest and timely in paying taxes.

The Administration's anti-smuggling campaign hand-in-hand with the BOC is always at-large ensuring the public of a protected, strengthened and fair productivity and competition.

BOC enhances their thrust to stop the entry of counterfeit goods into the country that deprives legitimate products of their target market, affect the sales of good, genuine brands, and adversely affect the country's economy as a whole.

BIR's "No Audit Program" (NAP) where delinquent taxpayers are given the chance to avail of the government's modified tax amnesty scheme and the privilege to be exempt from investigation if they voluntarily declare and pay their correct and rightful earnings.

BIR appeals to governors, town / city mayors, and barangay officials to join in the tax information and collection campaigns because LGUs received a huge portion of the collected income taxes collected by the national government thru the internal revenue allotment (IRA) and so with the national government's mutual benefits coming from this effort.

Common people are also reached out for in the end, they would benefit thru this in terms of employment and income redistribution resulting after these collections are spent for infrastructures, education, health and other services rendered unto them by the government. (PIA La Union) [top]

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