MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte renewed his call for businessmen to pay correct taxes citing that government needs funds to put up, among others, rehabilitation centers for the thousands of drug addicts who have surrendered nationwide.
In an press conference in Davao City Monday night, the President gave an assurance that businessmen who pay correct taxes will not be checked upon by personnel from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) who will be accompanied by the police or the military.
He said he will also ask the media to accompany the policemen when the latter checks on businessmen who have not paid correct taxes.
”Magbayad ka ng taxes ng tama then you are free of any worry at least for all time during the year that you have fully complied with the law (Pay correct taxes then you are free of any worry at least for all time during the year that you have fully complied with the law),” he said.
The President noted that some businessmen even have armed police or military escorts and lamented that “we have kept a blind eye on that.”
He said he will order the BIR to file cases against erring tax payers and tax evaders will be prevented from traveling overseas.
”Once it’s pending in court your freedom of movement is curtailed,” he said
”It’s always a crime if you do not pay your taxes properly and correctly. Pero bayaran ninyo kung ano yung assessment, (at) wala na kayong problema. And I will never, never allow anybody to disturb you (It’s always a crime if you do not pay your taxes property and correctly. Pay whatever the assessment is and you will not have any problem. I will never, never allow anybody to disturb you),” he added.
The Duterte administration upped the government’s revenue collection target for 2016 to 2018, with this year’s goal set at Php2.694 trillion from Php2.573 trillion previously.
In the first half of 2016, total government revenues reached Php1.1 trillion, up by a percent compared to the Php1.08 trillion same period last year.
Total expenditures during the same period amounted to Php1.22 trillion, some 14 percent higher than the Php1.07 trillion in the first half of 2015.
This resulted to a budget deficit amounting to Php120.3 billion, a reversal from the Php13.7 billion surplus same time last year. Joann Santiago/PNA/northboundasia.com