Oct 092013

The Philippines has put out a unique ratings guide for restaurants — ranking them by taxes they pay rather than their menu to shame those cheating the state out of revenues.

The gradings system, a unique twist on the world-famous Michelin guide, is part of a government drive to bolster its coffers and make it less reliant on debt to finance its operations.

“The goal of this campaign is to increase transparency on tax payments and to encourage the people to be conscientious in paying the right taxes,” the presidential palace said in a statement.

It said the ratings guide would be updated every week and published in major newspapers and on the government finance department’s website.

Wednesday’s edition showed that local franchises of international fast food chains, as well as a leading Filipino fried chicken chain, Max’s Restaurant, had paid the highest taxes among the country’s restaurants.

President Benigno Aquino, who won the 2010 election on an anti-corruption platform, has vowed to put the finances of the perennially cash-strapped government in order.

The government has launched a highly publicised campaign against tax cheats, including celebrities and professionals.

Congress under Aquino’s watch also passed laws sharply raising “sin taxes” on cigarettes and alcohol, in a bid to raise up to $800 million dollars in revenues this year.

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