Manila: The finance secretary of President Benigno Aquino gave himself one week to file cases against tax evaders and smugglers, to fast-track the collection of P150 billion (Dh12.5 billion) from grafters, and to respond to an estimated P300 billion (Dh25 billion) budget deficit in 2011.

"Every week you will see a case filed, alternating tax evasion with anti-smuggling cases," warned Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

"We're working with the Department of Justice to implement the big programmes, just to put more teeth into them," said Purisima, adding the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be very busy with the government's high-profile efforts against grafters.

He did not give the number of people who would be charged by the said agencies.

These efforts will show that the new government is serious in its effort to tackle corruption, to collect more money, and not to raise taxes for Aquino's centrepiece projects for the education, health, and shelter for the poor, said Purisima.

Pitching in, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she would help run after tax evaders and smugglers, and vowed to fast track their prosecution. Various government agencies and corporations will also be strictly audited for "leakages," including agencies with sudden high liabilities, said Purisima.

The government will also review the salaries of officials of government corporations and agencies, said Purisima, but did not say if this would result in increased salary scheme for government workers, which, analysts said, could increase an already high budget deficit. Earlier, Aquino said during his inauguration on June 30 that his top priority is to stop corruption and raise funds by running after tax evaders and smugglers, in order to extend government services for everyone, including the poor.

Aquino also promised to investigate alleged graft practices and election fraud of ex-President Gloria Arroyo who was in power for nine years.