MANILA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government expected that the country's strong fiscal performance in the past two years will continue beyond 2016 with the passage of tax reform measures, the state chief economist said Thursday.
Arsenio Balisacan, director-general of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), said the fiscal sector's overall strategy is still to raise more tax through better revenue collection.
According to him, tax revenue accounts for 9.5 percent of the GDP in 2011 and 10.3 percent in the first half of 2012, while non- tax revenue collection also rose from 1.6 percent share of the GDP in 2011 to 1.8 percent the first semester of 2012.
"Achieving our revenue targets (in the next few years) depends heavily on several factors, including the approval of tax reform laws. These, in turn, would reduce our deficit as a share of our economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP)," he said.
Balisacan said that among the pending bills that are expected to benefit the fiscal sector once signed into law are the simplified net income taxation scheme, modernized customs and tariff code that includes strengthened anti-smuggling provisions, and rationalized fiscal incentives.
He noted that the sin tax bill, which restructured excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, was already signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III into law as Republic Act 10351.
"Reforms in tax administration, including the passage of the sin tax law, will provide the ground work to support fiscal sustainability in the coming years," said Balisacan.