Tuesday, 13 April 2010

PCCI bullish on tax take

Elaine R. Alanguilan
Manila Standard
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideBusiness.htm?f=2010/april/12/business1.isx&d=2010/april/12

The business community is optimistic that a stronger economic growth will enable the Bureau of Internal Revenue to meet its full-year collection target of P830 billion, despite the impact of tax-eroding measures and losses from last year’s typhoons.

“We are confident the P830-billion collection target of the BIR for 2010 is achievable. The 20-percent growth in tax revenues in the first two months of the year would be sustained,” said Ambassador Francis Chua, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the sidelines of a dialogue between Internal Revenue and the business sector held Friday in Makati City.

He said PCCI, the largest business organization in the country, had committed to help disseminate the various programs of the tax to its 120 chapters nationwide, which include some of the country’s largest taxpayers.

“We have to support the government. More than just meeting its collection target for the year, the business community is also helping the government in its long-term goal of strengthening the BIR. All the BIR’s programs will be disseminated to our 120 chapters throughout the country,” said Chua, who is Malacañang’s special envoy to China for Trade and Investments.

He said the recovery in economic activity, fueled by the turnaround in global demand for Philippine products and services, should enable the tax agency to meet its collection hurdle for the year.

“For the longest time, government tax take has been growing. I think even with tax-eroding measures, the tax take would continue to improve because the overall improvement in the economy,” said Chua.

He said the exports sector had been doing well with shipments in January surging 42.5 percent year-on-year to $3.578 billion on strong global demand for Philippine electronics. It was the second month of strong double-digit growth and the highest jump since April 1995.

Data from the National Statistics Office showed shipments of electronics, which dominate exports and are largely assembled from imported parts, climbed 51.2 percent in January, the second double-digit jump in two years.

Chua, however, conceded that the manufacturing sector had not yet fully recovered from the crisis, which saw manufacturing output contracting for more than a year as a result of the global financial crisis.

“Some have already recovered although some sectors, like manufacturing, are still in poor condition. But business conditions have, of course, significantly improved from a year ago so we are still very optimistic,” said Chua.

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