ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Philippines needs fiscal reforms
Aquino is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly and report on the Philippines' progress in meeting the 2015 deadline for the MDGs. He is also set to sign an agreement with the US Millennium Challenge Corp. for the release of aid meant for efforts to pursue the Philippine MDGs.
"The passage of fiscal reforms is crucial in financing the MDGs. The government cannot just rely on improving tax administration as a measure to beef up revenue collection," said Code RED in a statement.
"It has to be complemented with fiscal measures like rationalization of fiscal incentives, fiscal responsibility and excise tax on tobacco and alcohol and simplified net income taxation scheme [SNITS]," the NGO said.
The NGO said the first two reforms entail a streamlining of available resources, while the other two tax reforms would involve merely capturing foregone revenues brought about by loopholes in existing tax laws.
"It is crucial that the government prioritize the financing of the MDGs through fiscal reforms and other means as achieving the goals can very well be the gauge of progress in addressing poverty," the NGO said.
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority said the government may address the MDGs pertaining to food poverty, gender equality in education, child mortality, malaria morbidity, detection and treatment success and cure rates of tuberculosis cases, and access to sanitary facilities.
The government however doubts whether it could attain the targets on income poverty; nutrition; dietary energy requirement; access to safe drinking water; participation, cohort survival and completion rates in elementary education; maternal mortality; access to reproductive services; and prevalence of HIV and AIDS.
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