Gov't on track to hitting revenue, tax efforts – Finance Chief

The government remains on track to meet revenue and tax goals for the year, following the country's strong economic growth in the first quarter, the head of the Department of Finance said Wednesday.

“We are still on track to meet our goals for the tax effort and revenue effort, especially given our high first-quarter growth,” said Secretary Cesar Purisima.

For the first quarter of 2013, the Philippines recorded a revenue effort of 13.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and a tax effort of 11.9 percent of GDP, latest data show.

“We note that in the past, tax effort has gotten a significant boost from the first quarter of the year to the second, and we anticipate the same given our very successful tax collections in April this year,” Purisma said.

The government wants revenue and tax effort this year to settle at 14.7 percent and 13.5 percent, respectively.

It aims to increase the country’s tax effort to 16 percent by the end of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s term in 2016 and 18 percent on revenue-wide basis.

Revenue effort is calculated as total national government revenues as a percentage of GDP, while tax effort reflects total national government tax revenues as a percentage of GDP.

These are measures of how well a country is doing in terms of revenue and tax collection relative to what could be reasonably expected given its economic potential.

Bucking a worldwide economic slowdown, the country's GDP in the first quarter grew by 7.8 percent, the fastest in Asia. — SOA/BM, GMA News