Pimentel seeks LGUs share in Customs revenue
MANILA, Philippines—Give local governments a share from customs revenue and the national government will have active partners all over the 7,100-island archipelago in the campaign against smuggling.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III is again pushing for the passage of his pet bill seeking for local government units (LGUs) a share in all government revenues—not just those collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue but also the duties collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Pimentel made the statement in the wake of a Federation of Philippine Industries finding that more than P1.3 trillion in revenue was lost due to smuggling from 2002 to 2011.
Smuggling was also one of the factors cited in the Social Weather Stations survey that showed more business executives believing there was more corruption in government in 2013 compared to 2012.
“Local officials will become active partners of the national government to stop smuggling and report tax cheats once the bill becomes a law,” Pimentel said.
“Local officials will become de facto partners of the national government in reporting cases of undervaluation, misdeclaration, misclassification and diversion of shipments. They will, then, help stop smuggling knowing that their collective shares from the taxes collected by the BOC will increase by billions of pesos,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel’s Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice Bill aims to increase the revenue base that the national government will need to share with the LGUs. The LGUs will also have a bigger share, from the present 40 percent of internal revenues to 50 percent of all national taxes.
“Smugglers will think twice before attempting to push through with their illicit trade because they know that local officials are watching them,” Pimentel said.
“Even high public officials colluding with known big-time smugglers of rice, petroleum products, cars and other high-value shipments would be dissuaded from the illegal activity knowing that they could be exposed by the vigilance of the local officials,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel said that with their expanded powers and increased responsibilities, LGUs operate on a wider scale.
Pimentel said he wants to increase the shares of LGUs from the current 40 percent to 50 percent of all national taxes “so that the enormous duties, responsibilities and accountabilities vested on LGUs are accompanied by reasonably adequate resources for them to effectively carry out their duties and functions.”
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