The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Public sector revenue has declined markedly in the Philippines over the past seven years. Most observers of the Philippine economy agree that rebuilding public sector revenue will be critical to reducing deficits and ensuring public sector debt sustainability. This paper reviews several of the main possibilities for raising public sector revenue, including increases in excise, VAT, and electricity rates. It argues that most of these proposals would raise revenue in a relatively efficient manner. Using household-level expenditure data, it also finds that most of these measures would be progressive, especially if they allow the government to avoid cuts in pro-poor spending.