The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) has called on the government to create a blue lane that would allow "good" taxpayers to enjoy certain benefits such as faster processing time and streamlined procedures when paying their obligations.
"It will encourage companies in the Philippines to commit to clean and ethical ways to do business and pay the right taxes. [This is] good for the government. With the blue lane, companies will enjoy less bureaucracy in dealing with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)," ECCP senior advocacy adviser Henry V Schumacher said in a text message on Wednesday.
He said these responsible taxpayers must also be the least priority of the BIR when it comes to tax reviews.
This proposal failed to advance when it was last discussed during the administration of former President Aquino.
The creation of a blue lane was again brought up during a recent discussion with BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay, who reportedly expressed interest in the recommendation.
Based on that discussion, Schumacher said the blue lane could be tied to ECCP’s current program called the Integrity Initiative. ECCP said there was a need for companies to sign the Integrity Pledge, commit to clean and ethical business and to implement the needed changes within their respective organizations.
The Integrity Initiative is geared towards the reestablishment of acceptable integrity standards among various sectors. Led by the private sector, this initiative aims to help in diminishing, if not fully eradicating, the vicious cycle of corruption in the Philippines, which has not only exacerbated poverty but has likewise obstructed the development of a competitive business environment.
The Integrity Initiative is a multisectoral campaign that seeks to promote common ethical standards in businesses, governments and society.
As of last year, over 3,000 companies and 5,000 individuals have already signed the Integrity Initiative. The target set by the groups backing this initiative was to have at least 10,000 company signatories by 2017 and about 20,000 by 2019 in order to gain that critical mass to support ethical standards.
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer