MANILA, JULY 27, 2007
(STAR)  By Iris C. Gonzales - The government is targeting to collect a total of P1.108 trillion in tax revenues next year and non-tax revenues of P127.3 billion, or total revenues of P1.236 trillion.

The interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), the group that sets the country’s policies and targets, approved the 2008 revenue goals in a meeting late Wednesday.

Of the P1.108-trillion tax revenue goal, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is projected to collect P845 billion or 14 percent higher than the P741.3-billion BIR collection goal this year.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is expected to raise P254.5 billion, also 14 percent higher than the BOC’s collection goal this year of P223.2 billion. The revenue goal for other offices including the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Bureau of Fire Protection and the National Telecommunications Commission, is P9.5 billion.

The non-tax revenue target for next year, meanwhile, stands at P127.3 billion. Of this amount, income from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) is projected to hit P57.3 billion while proceeds from privatization are expected to hit P29.7 billion.

Non-tax revenues from other sources such as fees and charges from state agencies are expected to hit P40.3 billion.

The non-tax revenue target of P127.3 billion is 12.3 percent lower than this year’s non-tax revenue goal of P145.2 billion.

Credit rating agencies and multilateral lending institutions, however, refused to consider non-tax revenues as part of the government’s overall collection goal.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, however, said revenues that come from privatization should be considered as part of the government’s revenue target.

“When the government bought these assets, they were booked as expenditures so when they are sold, proceeds will be considered revenues,” Beltran said.

The government is still making an inventory of assets it wants to sell next year but Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said the government hopes to sell the 120-hectare Food Terminals Inc. facility in Taguig.

FTI, a subsidiary of the National Food Authority, is an agro-industrial and commercial estate set up by the Marcos administration in 1968 to serve as direct trading hub for agricultural commodities, storage and food processing.

As the only agro-industrial-commercial estate located in the heart of Metro Manila, FTI houses more than 300 small- to medium-scale companies involved in food manufacturing, electronics, garments and service industries.

For this year, the government hopes to raise P50 billion from the sale of its 60-percent interest in Philippine National Oil Co.-Energy Development Corp., another P50 billion from its 24-percent stake in food and beverage giant San Miguel Corp., and at least P5 billion from its 12-percent interest in Lopez-controlled Manila Electric Co.

The government hopes to trim the deficit to P63 billion this year. In the first half of the year, however, the deficit had already swelled to P41 billion or higher than the programmed P31 billion.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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