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Incoming administration urged to avoid new tax measures

MANILA, Philippines - Multisectoral group Fair Trade Alliance (FTA) has urged the incoming Aquino administration to avoid the imposition of new taxes and instead focus on non-tax revenue measures.

“President-elect Benigno Aquino III must institute bold reforms, including the implementation of non-tax revenue measures,” FTA said in a statement.

The group said one measure of generating revenues for the government is a no-nonsense drive against smuggling.

“Big-time smugglers and their cohorts in government should be hauled to prison. By stamping out smuggling, the government will also help save domestic industries being injured by cheap and untaxed imports and, therefore, help save local jobs,” FTA said.

The group said a big step in stopping smuggling is the enactment into law of the Anti-Smuggling Bill which failed to pass during the previous Congress.

“We urge President-elect Aquino to certify as urgent the Anti-Smuggling Bill that will be filed this 15th Congress given the exigency of raising the needed revenues for the government,” the group said.

FTA also called on Aquino to make a major facelift in revenue-generating agencies, Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), by installing competent and incorruptible officials in the said agencies.

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