Both the BIR and BoC have fast-tracked its digitalization to enhance revenue collection amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Newpost PH)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — The new administration under President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. will continue investing heavily in digitalization, technological innovation, and human capital development to ensure that the country remains competitive in a fast-changing and tech-driven global economy.
This is according to budget secretary Benjamin Diokno who said that “(the Marcos government) will be putting greater emphasis on pursuing technological innovations to build new industries, enhance the delivery of public services and create many employment and investment opportunities.”
“All of these will allow us to bounce back stronger from the pandemic and ensure the long-term recovery of our economy,” Diokno pointed out.
Based on a report released by the World Bank (WB) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the rapid adoption of digital technologies can bolster the Philippines’ post-pandemic recovery and help the country achieve its vision of alleviating poverty.
The report highlighted the effective use of technological innovations in helping both the private and public sectors cope with mobility restrictions and other containment measures imposed across the country during the pandemic, ensuring the continuity of business operations and delivery of public services nationwide.
To give credence, the former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor cited the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) which were both able to continue collecting taxes amid the pandemic through its digital transformation program, thus expanding the range of electronic payment channels that allow taxpayers to file and pay their taxes online.
In line with this, Diokno announced that he has already directed the BIR and the BoC to continue accelerating their respective modernization programs to increase the government’s tax effort.
“The government expects to collect more revenues on the back of a faster and more broad-based economic growth. Thus, the efficient and effective tax administration will be critical in funding our socioeconomic priorities,” he explained even as he stressed that the Marcos administration is committed to broadening financial inclusion through digital tools and channels, such as accelerating the rollout of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) and widening the reach of the branchless and digital-only Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank).
In ending, the finance chief disclosed that he aims to digitalize half of all retail payments and onboard 70 percent of the adult population to the formal financial system by 2023, a goal that he set when he was still governor of the country’s central bank.