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BIR to probe charges against revenue exec

By Alex Pal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:01:00 07/08/2009

Filed Under: Local authorities

DUMAGUETE CITY?THE REgional Bureau of Internal Revenue will investigate allegations of irregularities lodged by Negros Oriental businessmen against the revenue district officer (RDO).

Aynie Mandajoyan, assistant director of BIR Region 12 based in Bacolod City, met with the businessmen on July 1 and gave assurance that their charges against Aldo Esmena would be looked into.

The charges, contained in a position paper prepared by business and professional groups in Negros Oriental, included non-issuance of receipts for some collections, arbitrary and unreasonable collection of fines, harassment, incompetence, violation of bank secrecy laws, and highhandedness.

The businessmen called for the ouster of Esmena, saying he had not only soiled the image of the BIR and the civil service, which his predecessors had so carefully built and cultivated, but also caused animosity in his dealings with his own staff in the city and the revenue district office.

Esmena had earlier denied the allegations, saying that he was only doing his job of collecting the correct taxes from business establishments.

BIR regional director Jose Tan on Friday said he was surprised to hear about the complaints against Esmena because the official was nearing his collection target. ?I thought that everything was all right as he only needed to raise a little more than P1 million for the month of May,? Tan said.

He said that Esmena, before his assignment to Dumaguete, had been the only revenue district officer who met his collection goal in Aurora province in recent years.

Tan, however, said he could not act on the businessmen?s petition to transfer Esmena. ?Only the commissioner has the prerogative to replace RDOs,? he said.

He encouraged the businessmen to bring their concerns to Commissioner Sixto Esquivias IV.

The businessmen said Edgar Lacson, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had promised to meet with Esquivias on this matter.



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