The much-maligned Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is fashioning a newimage: that of a professional, efficient, transparent and innovativeinstitution. This image is becoming a reality under the leadership ofCommissioner Guillermo Parayno, Jr. The good news – amid all theuncertainty, jitters, and antagonism in the pre-election period – isthat BIR achieved its collection target for 2003.
Taxation has always been a serious problem for the Philippines. Thisarticle enumerates a number of causes for this problem and puts forthseveral propositions to address it, while keeping in mind the essentialfeatures of a development-friendly taxation system.
Six months into the year, the government has already incurred a deficit of P119.7 billion or 92% of its P130-billion target for the whole year. This is unfortunate, as the current administration has staked its
credibility on a fiscal discipline platform. Its pronouncements
encourage the market to herd around expectations generated by deficit ceilings; unfortunately, breaches would then be perceived as signals of fiscal irresponsibility, leading to a weakening of capital inflows.
In his syndicated column titled “Reckonings,” Paul Krugman quoted the
now-classic statement of Gordon Gekko, the cunning corporate raider in
the movie Wall Street: “Greed is good. Greed works, greed is
right…and greed, mark my words, will save not only Teldar paper but
the other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”
That statement is real-world stuff. Wisely unstated (as befits shrewd
business), such greed lies at the core of the behavior of many
corporate executives who aggressively pursue super-profits for
themselves and for the companies they run. Although Gekko’s line has
punch and has become very quotable, its message is not new. It merely
echoes a basic creed of liberal economics that the “unrestrained
rivalry of egotism” is good not only for the individual but for society
A group of non-government organizations recently got together to initiate a campaign for the passage of a law on the peoples' right to access official information on matters of public concern. Calling themselves the Access To Information Network, the network is composed of NGOs working on different issues, with different constituencies, and at different locations. […]
This paper outlines the state of the law on access to official information in the Philippines, and gives an overview of the role that non-government organizations play in promoting the right to official information.