CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) regional office here reported it has surpassed its collection target last year as it vows to renew its efforts to go after erring taxpayers.

Hermeno Palamine, regional director for BIR Revenue Region 16, said the tax-collecting body was able to take in more than P13 billion in 2017, mostly from income taxes, contributing to the agency’s total collection of P1.779 trillion last year.

Palamine attributed this achievement to the relentless tax collection campaign of the BIR, especially those in the regional field offices.

But the challenge, he pointed out, is that the national government upped its collection target for this year to P15 billion, which he noted is about 20 percent higher than last year’s goal.

“We cannot yet tell if we can achieve it (this year’s collection target), but we will do our best,” he said, adding that the BIR is apprehensive of the effects of the Tax Reforms for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

Palamine said the agency’s performance in January was on course as they were able to reach their monthly collection target.

However, he said, the BIR is on a wait-and-see situation as far as its collection effort for February and the succeeding months due to the tax reform measures the Duterte government is taking that is expected to be felt within the year.

Palamine said February, in particular, would be “dramatic” as the effects of the TRAIN law would likely be felt by both the consumers and business operators.

“Tan-awon nato ang epekto (we will have to see the effect) before we can judge (the outcome of the TRAIN law) in the coming months,” he said.

According to the Department of Finance, the goal of the TRAIN law is “to create a more just, simple, and more effective system of tax collection, as per the constitution, where the rich will have a bigger contribution and the poor will benefit more from the government’s programs and services.” (

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