By: Robin T. Gumasing
In line with the series of online public consultation for the draft Transparency Principles for Tax Policy and Administration, the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) held its virtual dialogue for the Philippines on June 8, 2022, 5:00 PM (Manila) via Zoom. The session aims to consider the diverse views and perspectives of the country stakeholders to verify the Principles’ applicability, practicality, and adoptability in enriching its final version and todiscuss the relevance of these principles in the national context.
GIFT’s Network Director Juan Pablo Guerrero welcomed the participants and presented the overview and objectives of the virtual dialogue in subjecting the draft Principles to country-level consultation for the Philippines.
In his message, DBM Undersecretary Rolando U. Toledo underscored the usefulness and importance of engaging with the peers in the Network to share and learn the best practices in advancing fiscal transparency across the globe.
Mr. Austin Ndiokwelu, IBP Nigeria Coordinator and Head of the Tax Equity Program, shared the data and information from tax systems that civil society requires to effectively engage in tax discussions. This was followed with the presentation on Making Tax Work: A framework for analyzing tax systems and enhancing tax transparency compendium and the GIFT’s principles of transparency in Tax Policy and Tax Administration by Richard Murphy and Mr. Andrew Baker from the University of Sheffield.
The virtual discussion that sought to address the concerns and clarifications on the draft Principles was participated in by representatives from the government sector through the Department of Finance (DOF) – Revenue Operations Group (ROG) and Domestic Finance Group (DFG), Bureau of the Internal Revenue (BIR), and Bureau of Customs (BOC). From the non-government stakeholders, Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2KRN), and Action for Economic Reforms (AER) joined the discussion and provided their inputs. Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Makati Business Club (MBC) from the business sector were likewise present to participate in the discussion. At the international level, response and clarification were provided by participants who are specialists from GIFT member institutions, including the International Budget Partnership, and the University of Sheffield.
The draft Principles are available in English, French, and Spanish and can be downloaded via https://fiscaltransparency.net/transparency-principles-for-tax-policy-and-administration-a-public-consultation-from-october-2021-to-january-2022/.