February 8, 2024
To the DOF Family; to Commissioner Romeo Lumagui, Jr.; the men and women of the BIR; to all our taxpayers; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen: magandang magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.
Before anything else, I congratulate the Bureau of Internal Revenue on this year’s National Tax Campaign Kick-off.
This event is perfectly timed as it coincides with the original date of the Philippine Constitution Day celebration, emphasizing the core principles that our nation is built upon.
These principles include the call for fiscal responsibility and the commitment to maintaining a tax collection process that is fair, just, and in line with good governance practices.
As our revenuers embark into this taxing season, may these principles serve as a constant reminder, guiding them in building strong partnerships with our taxpayers.
Just a few weeks ago, I received a very encouraging briefing from Commissioner Lumagui about the achievements and plans of the BIR.
It gives me great confidence knowing that the BIR is in prime fighting shape as it sends out its troops to raise the bulk of the 4.3 trillion pesos target revenues this year. Which roughly is about 3 trillion.
These revenues will fuel our economic engine towards Bagong Pilipinas—a more inclusive and sustainable Philippine economy marked by lower poverty rates; increased infrastructure and human capital investments; more quality jobs for our people; and improved public services.
In a word, Bagong Pilipinas is about creating a better and more comfortable life for all Filipinos and the generations to come.
This patriotic duty, however, does not rest solely on the BIR’s shoulders—it is a shared responsibility with our taxpayers.
For our taxpayers, it means fulfilling the duty of paying the correct amount of taxes. For our revenuers, it is about accurately assessing and collecting the right taxes. When both sides effectively play their roles, we pave the way to progress with certainty.
Therefore, let us center this year’s tax campaign on two key fronts: the ongoing modernization efforts of the BIR to enhance tax processes and the indispensable role that taxpayers play in our nation’s progress.
Let us remind our taxpaying public of their heroic duty to propel our country forward through the prompt and accurate payment of taxes. Diligent taxpayers make the great task of collecting revenues much easier.
Simultaneously, the BIR must continue advancing its digital technologies across all processes and expedite the implementation of the Ease of Paying Taxes Act to ensure excellent taxpayer service. I assure our taxpayers that we will fully deliver on the intended promises of this law.
On the Department of Finance’s part, we will remain a strong supporter of the BIR as it ramps up its modernization programs to make general tax compliance easier and taxation equitable.
We will act fast on the BIR’s project proposals to enhance tax administration. We will not cease innovating to align our processes and standards with the best tax collection services globally.
Additionally, we will strengthen enforcement efforts against tax cheats and ensure fairness in the tax system to build taxpayers’ trust.
To support the BIR’s task of ensuring the government with a reliable revenue stream, the DOF will prioritize curbing inflation immediately. Keeping prices of goods stable and affordable will ensure continued economic growth, enabling us to boost revenue collection.
We are also pushing for the passage of the DOF’s refined priority tax measures to finance development and reduce the deficit.
Additionally, we will continue to grow the economy by boosting investments through the efficient implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act.
We are working on further amending CREATE to improve the law and to tailor-fit the interests of investors in strategic investments. This will prepare the red carpet for an influx of new investments that will provide high-quality jobs for Filipinos and broaden the tax base.
Moreover, the DOF is committed to supporting the efficient execution of the 2024 national budget to ensure the timely implementation of projects and prevent government underspending. Rest assured, the taxpayers’ hard-earned money will be spent wisely and efficiently.
To the men and women of the BIR, I am confident in your ability to not only meet but surpass your collection target this year through the leadership of Commissioner Lumagui. Continue upholding the utmost standards of responsiveness, integrity, and accountability in fulfilling your duties.
And to our taxpayers: Ako po mismo ang maniniguro na bawat sentimo o piso mula sa inyo ay mapupunta sa pagpapaunlad ng ating bayan. We will not leave any room for inefficiency or corruption.
Sama-sama po nating itaguyod ang kinabukasan ng bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbabayad at pagkolekta ng tamang buwis upang ating pag-asenso ay lalong mapabilis.
Ulit, maraming salamat po at mabuhay po tayong lahat.