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Congress supports DOF's 33% budget hike

Congress supports DOF's 33% budget hike

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) has gained the support of Congress for its proposed P21.23-billion budget for 2022.

The DOF yesterday said the committees in the Senate and House of Representatives have given the greenlight for its proposed funding for next year.

Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, committed to endorse the DOF’s proposed budget in the plenary.

Meanwhile, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda sponsored the funding proposal for the DOF.

Under the national expenditure program, the DOF filed for a budget hike of about 33 percent to P21.23 billion, from P16.01 billion this year. More than half of the amount will go to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), while Customs and Treasury will get around 40 percent.

Broken down, funding for the BIR will increase by over nine percent to P10.85 billion, while funding for Customs will jump by close to 69 percent to P4.34 billion.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the BIR and Customs budgets were expanded to cover the cost of modernizing their equipment and systems in delivering basic services.

Further, the revenue agencies were compelled by the pandemic to shift their transactions to digital.

On the other hand, financing for the Treasury will double to P4.22 billion next year, although just 26 percent of this would go to its operational expenses. The larger 74 percent will be used to pay for quota subscriptions and equity contributions for membership in multilateral institutions.

The Office of the Secretary also sought a budget hike of more than 30 percent to P1.08 billion. Dominguez said his office would inject additional resources to the Philippine Tax Academy, where revenue agencies BIR and Customs train their personnel.

The remainder of the DOF’s proposed budget at P723.16 million will fund the operations of the Bureau of Local Government Finance; Privatization Management Office; National Tax Research Center; Central Board of Assessment Appeals and Insurance Commission.