August 2, 2022
Representative Joey Salceda; My fellow Cabinet Secretaries and workers in government; Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Lilia Guillermo; men and women of the BIR; distinguished guests: good afternoon.
Let me begin by congratulating the Bureau of Internal Revenue on its 118th Anniversary.
Through periods of growth and times of crises, the BIR has always stood ready to support the needs of the Filipino people.
When COVID-19 struck, our structural reforms, including enhancements in tax policy and tax administration, allowed us to weather the shocks and chart a clear path to a sustainable recovery.
Our economic prospects are promising. The Philippine economy is expected to return to, and even exceed, its pre-pandemic growth rates beginning this year.
Now, we must sustain our gains and propel the economy to greater heights. We must turn our bright economic prospects into reality for the Filipino people.
The Marcos administration will implement a comprehensive 8-point socioeconomic agenda to decisively steer the economy back to its high-growth trajectory.
In the near term, the plan seeks to address the most urgent issues confronting the Filipino people today. These are the rising prices of essential goods and the lingering economic scars from the pandemic.
In the medium term, the plan aims to drive the creation of more jobs, quality jobs, and green jobs. We will achieve this through massive investments in infrastructure, human capital development, and digitalization.
These goals are ambitious but achievable with the right fiscal tools and right people.
The economic team is committed to implement a Medium-Term Fiscal Framework that will support our growth targets with fiscal prudence. This framework serves as our blueprint to reduce fiscal deficit, promote fiscal sustainability, and enable robust economic growth.
Among the initiatives under the Framework are measures that will enhance the fairness and efficiency of our tax system, while putting sharper focus on efficient tax administration through digitalization.
Our strategy aims to bring down our debt-to-GDP ratio from the current 63.5 percent to less than 60 percent by 2025, and cut the deficit-to-GDP ratio from the current 6.4 percent to 3.0 percent by 2028. Expanding our fiscal space will allow us to maintain our high investment in infrastructure at 5 to 6 percent of the country’s economy annually.
The BIR plays an important role in achieving the goals embodied in our fiscal framework. You, our revenuers, are essential workers pumping life-giving revenues into our coffers. Hence, this patriotic duty must be fulfilled with utmost fairness, efficiency, and integrity.
To keep our country’s fiscal vitals in fighting shape, there is no room for the BIR to fail. The Bureau must quicken the digitalization of our revenue systems to boost our tax effort, enhance tax administration, and eliminate discretion.
I urge the BIR to fast-track its modernization projects as well as strengthen the tax collection and enforcement programs it has set in place to enable us to meet and even exceed our revenue targets.
Most importantly, we must inspire broader trust in the Philippine tax system. You should continuously uphold the highest standards of responsiveness, integrity, and accountability in the fulfillment of your duties.
Our countrymen depend on you to achieve an inclusive and sustainable economy for the generations to come.
A strong BIR means a secure fiscal future and economic prosperity for the Filipino people.