300 BIR personnel opt to resign, retire
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay yesterday revealed that the applications for optional retirement or resignation of some 300 revenue officials and personnel are already being processed as part of his bid to cleanse the revenue agency and ensure tax collection efficiency.
This was gathered during the House Committee on Ways and Means hearing on the pending Comprehensive Tax Reform bill.
Appearing at the hearing
presided over by Quirino Rep. Dax Cua, Dulay told congressmen that in the past seven months the graft issue that has hounded BIR has started to taper off.
The House panel is currently holding a hearing
“We are slowly working on the bad eggs when I suggested that they either resign or take advantage of their optional retirement,” he said.
Dulay said warnings he had issued against the so-called bad eggs was clearly what triggered at least 300 BIR personnel to file their resignation or by taking advantage of optional retirement.
Apart from calling for the resignation and retirement of erring personnel, Dulay has revamped key posts in the agency.
“We are aware on the problem of graft in the agency. I’m happy to share that we are slowly addressing the issue,” he said.
“Through the months, I have also seen the professionalism and competence of the personnel and bureau. We are slowly working on bad eggs. I suggested that they either resign or take advantage of their optional retirement,” he said.
He assured lawmakers that tax collection efficiency will continue to improve, pointing out that this has already been felt with a “pretty good” 18 percent increase in revenue collection.
In the same hearing, Dulay revealed that the tax agency has created a technical working group to address possible issues that may arise during the implementation of e-invoice and e-receipt.
“The proposed amendments are very helpful in terms of revenue generation and for our part we are ready to implement whatever provisions are finally approved,” he said.
Through the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines, foreign businessmen also called for the “maximum use of digital technology” to address the worsening traffic situation in the country.
The JFC, a coalition of American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, and South Korean business groups, submitted its stand on House Bill 4774 proposed by the Duterte administration.
“While we do not know how much of the traffic involves moving paper invoices and official receipts between businesses and their clients, we believe that encouraging the maximum use of digital technology is an important policy to easing traffic congestion,” the foreign chambers said in a position paper on the CTRP.
“The [Duterte] administration has determined that there is a traffic emergency in Manila and Cebu and requested emergency powers to implement solutions,” the group added.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency estimated the daily cost of traffic in the National Capital Region at 12.4 billion.
The joint chamber of foreign businessmen urged Congress to consider its proposal amending Section 113 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) by adding a new paragraph.
In their proposal, the chambers said the NIRC provision should read: “The use of e-invoice and e-receipt shall become mandatory within five years of enactment of this law, regardless of whether or not they are part of a computerized accounting system.”
“Taxpayers are no longer required to submit traditional hard copy (paper copy) of their invoice or official receipt with any compliance requirements of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The BIR shall simplify the invoicing and receipting data required of the taxpayer by only requiring name and Tax Identification Number. The BIR may exempt taxpayers from this requirement if they can demonstrate sufficient reasons for non-compliance,” the JFC proposed amendment stated.
The chambers underscored the significance of digital technology in easing business transactions in the country.
“The Philippines should clearly do more, as measured by the United Nations e-governance survey. In 2003, the country ranked 33rd of 193 countries rated, but in 2016 had fallen to 71st of 193 countries,” the JFC statement said.
“Slow adaptation of digital technology by government in its interactions with the public is reflected in these rankings,” the foreign groups added.
Currently, the government allows the use of e-invoicing under existing revenue regulations.
“[However] institutionalizing the use of e-invoice in definitely a step toward the right direction given the move to digitize all information,” the business groups said.
The JFC represents over 3,000 member companies engaged in over $100 billion worth of trade and some $30 billion worth of investments in the Philippines.