BIR, Customs expect to miss 2009 collection targets

Posted at 12/15/09 7:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The effects of the economic crisis and damages caused by recent typhoons have made the Philippines' 2 main revenue agencies lose hope in meeting their collection targets for 2009.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the country's main tax agency, is expecting to collect only P742 billion this year, P56 billion short of its revised P798-billion full-year target.

Similarly, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking at P216 billion in total collections for the year, P57 billion shy of its P273.5-billion goal.

The BIR collected only P612 billion from January to October, down by 5.1% compared to the same period last year. The BOC, on the other hand, posted a 25.8% drop in collections during the 10-month period at P183.94 billion.

The 2 agencies made the projections during the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Monday. DBCC is the inter-agency group that sets the Philippines' macroeconomic assumptions and targets.

As a result of the perennial revenue shortfalls, DBCC is expecting the Philippines' budget deficit to hit anywhere from P298 billion to P300 billion this year.

The Philippines exceeded its 2009 budget deficit target in just 10 months, with weak revenues and higher spending on reconstruction following strong typhoons that damaged crops and infrastructure on the main Luzon island.

From January to October, the country's budget deficit stood at P266.1 billion, higher than the government's 2009 ceiling of P250 billion or 3.2% of GDP. The amount is also more than 4 times the P62.3-billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.