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PIA Press Release

Gov't budget surplus hits P13.9-B in August

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (22 September) -- The government had a budget surplus of P13.9-billion in August, the second surplus in a row which is attributed to improved collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said he was confident the budget deficit would come in within the targeted P63-billion for the year and attain a balanced budget by 2008 as the administration repeatedly said that the government won't be introducing new taxes but would just be enhancing existing ones.

In line with this, all BIR regional executives were ordered to focus 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.

Meanwhile, in Davao region, BIR regional director Atty. Marcelinda Omila-Yap said that aside from the RATE program, the bureau would also do a more stringent matching of taxpayers' income and withholding tax payments.

BIR officials believe that there are revenues to raise from enhanced matching of taxpayers' income declaration, as well as their withholding tax payments.

The BIR has exceeded its August collection target as it collected P75.5-billion nationwide as a result of these enhanced measures.

Director Omila-Yap said a sustained campaign on the issuance of official receipts, tax amnesty of the administration, continuous dialogues and forum with businessmen and line businesses and entities and the people's vigilance are being undertaken to enhanced tax collections.

"There is really a need for people's vigilance to support the government tax program specifically in demanding official receipts or sales invoices for purchases made by the buying public", Director Omila-Yap said.

Malaki talaga ang nawawala sa kaban ng gobyerno dahil sa di pagbibigay ng official receipts ng business establishments kaya kailangan naming ang tulong ng publiko. Humingi kayo ng resibo kahit na aling produkto ang inyong bibilhin, sa kahit na magkanong halaga, Director Omila-Yap urged the public.

There is no substitute for public vigilance. The public or anybody can directly report to the BIR businessmen, lawyers or medical practitioners who refused to issue official receipts, she added. (PIA-XI) [top]

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