Senators back lifestyle checks on customs, BIR personnel
Senators are backing an initiative of the Department of Finance (DOF) to conduct lifestyle checks on all its employees, with one saying the move was a simple way to pin down the “Al Capones,” especially at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Sen. Francis Escudero on Monday said lifestyle checks would help the government’s anticorruption drive and this should be done regularly to revenue-collecting agencies.
“Lifestyle checks should be the easier way to pin down the Al Capones at the BOC and the BIR,” said Sen. Grace Poe, adding that the initiative was a surefire way of forfeiting the money corrupt employees have siphoned and ensuring that revenue collected by these agencies went to government coffers.
The DOF has revealed that it was conducting lifestyle checks on its employees and on those working at its attached agencies after finding out that some workers owned expensive condominium units and cars despite their meager salaries.
“It’s time to put an end to the gall and hubris of these people who had it too good for way too long under the pretext of serving the people,” said Poe, who has advocated for less human interaction and more online transactions in these agencies for limited opportunities for corruption.
Sen. Sonny Angara also said lifestyle checks on revenue agencies was proper, citing the recent exposé in the Senate of the so-called “tara system” that showed the systematic corruption in the BOC.
“It is important that they be done fairly and to ensure the honesty in government service,” Angara said, adding that no less than the Constitution calls on public servants to lead simple and modest lives.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian also expressed support to the DOF initiative, pointing out that the nature of these employees’ work as stewards of the government’s wealth made them prone to temptations of corruption.
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