Department of Finance (DOF) secretary Benjamin Diokno met recently with United States ambassador to the Philippines Marykay Loss Carlson and representatives from the World Bank (WB) to discuss development cooperation in a number of areas, including the digitalization of the local tax system.
“I am very pleased to hear of Ambassador Marykay Carlson’s willingness to increase our cooperation in health security, climate finance, and the digitalization of our tax system,” said Diokno in a tweet, following his meeting with the US ambassador.
In another tweet, Dikono said: “I am very pleased to hear of the World Bank’s willingness to extend support for further digitalizing our revenue agencies and modernizing civil service in line with the President’s goal of rightsizing the bureaucracy.”
The USAID previously supported the Department of Finance (DOF) in crafting the comprehensive tax reform program through technical assistance, while the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) provided a grant worth $809,450 for the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Information Communication Technology Modernization Strategy and Data Center.
“The long lines during the tax payment period [are] gone. I think almost 99 percent paid electronically. That’s good,” said Diokno.
As of December 2021, the US was the Philippines’ largest source of grants reaching $628.20 million. The amount accounts for 33.23 percent of total grant assistance received by the country from all its bilateral and multilateral development partners.
Overall, the US ranked as the Philippines 7th biggest provider of official development assistance (ODA).