‘Only 31 active complaints:’ BIR disputes ARTA’s ‘most complained’ agency claim
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Wednesday disputed the figures of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), which said that it received nearly 1,000 complaints against the bureau.
At the Senate deliberations on the proposed budget of the Department of Finance (Finance) for 2021, Senator Imee Marcos asked the BIR about ARTA’s figures, which showed that the bureau topped the list of “most complained agencies.”
“The BIR was cited as being the top-notch violator of the ease of doing business. Is that true? Because that is what they claim. The most complaints were against the BIR,” Marcos said.
According to ARTA, 937 of the 3,924 complaints it received as of August 31, 2020, were directed to BIR.
But BIR Commissioner Ceasar Dulay said that there are only 31 “active complaints” against the agency.
“We asked ARTA to clarify the figures that they presented,” Dulay told senators.
“The actual figure is the status of complaints: Active is 31. The agency has resolved 187,” he added.
Dulay said the remaining 719 of the 937 earlier reported by ARTA were not actually sent to the BIR.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also came to the defense of the BIR as he questioned the validity of some of the complaints.
“BIR’s essential function is to collect taxes, you know, people I think are very hesitant to part with their money,” Dominguez said.
“Some of the complaints may not be valid at all. Let me put it this way, if somebody is your bill collector, I don’t think he’s the most popular in your household,” he added.
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