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Philippines Looks to Blockchain for Tax Collection

A spokesperson for the Philippines Department of Finance (DoF) has confirmed that the country is looking into blockchain solutions for business improvements, including tax collection.

Blockchain opportunities

Paola Alvarez of the DoF spoke Monday about the country’s ambitions, saying, “Yes, of course, we are open to exploring blockchain. Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez is really pushing for the application of financial technology. He wants to harness fintech to improve business, for example, payment of taxes online.”

As reported by Cryptovest, the department noted that it was open to exploring the benefits of blockchain across a number of areas in addition to tax collection, including improving transparency, business efficiency and the reduction of illegal smuggling.

While Alvarez was confident in the departments intent to pursue blockchain solutions, she noted that the current lack of regulations from the Philippine central bank complicates their initiative.

For now, the DoF is offering a PHPay system to taxpayers and state clients where they can pay charges to government agencies through an online platform. The system was a described as a way to “cover the development of a payment gateway and a payment ledgering management system for the whole of government.”

Noting that the Philippines still had a ways to go to fully mastering blockchain, Alvarez said the department is taking their plans one step at a time, with an industry technical team already established to assist this.

Drafting blockchain legislation

In its pursuit of establishing itself as a blockchain-friendly destination, last month the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reached out to the countries blockchain and cryptocurrency community to assist in drafting industry regulations.

Talking to industry stakeholders, the SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong explained the government’s ambitions surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

“The government wants to be proactive in creating rules about cryptocurrency. We want to engage all the stakeholders by asking for your feedback. We don’t want to ban anything just because we don’t understand something. That is why your feedback and your cooperation are important so we can come up with an appropriate rule about cryptocurrency trading,” Amatong said.

 

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