Dulay commits to rid BIR of ‘bad tomatoes’
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s chief tax collector on Friday said he will comply with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to reshuffle Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officers in a bid to stem long-standing corruption at the government’s biggest moneymaker.
In a statement, Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay admitted that there remained some bad eggs in the BIR despite some strides in cleaning up its ranks since he led the agency in mid-2016.
Dulay was quoted by the BIR as telling revenue officers during their first virtual command conference for 2021 last Tuesday that they have transformed the image of the agency “but there are still bad tomatoes and they did not go unnoticed by the President.”
During a televised press conference Monday night, President Duterte ordered a reshuffle across the ranks in the agency which he had earlier on tagged as among the most corrupt in the bureaucracy.
“With this new instruction, we will have to review. I have people in mind already that I have been contemplating. I have to comply with the request of the President to give him a list,” Dulay said.
But Dulay had yet to disclose who and how many will be reshuffled in the agency.
Dulay nonetheless congratulated BIR personnel after the agency exceeded the P1.69-trillion collection goal for 2020, as preliminary reports showed the tax take hitting P1.89 trillion.
Last year’s collections, however, fell from a record-high P2.18 trillion in 2019 amid a pandemic-induced recession.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said the reshuffle order will also help the BIR achieve its P2.08-trillion target for 2021.