Go digital to beat corruption and deliver quality services —Diokno
MANILA, Philippines — Digitalize to eradicate corruption and improve the services in government agencies, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Tuesday.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means, panel chair Senator Sherwin Gatchalian cited reports which stated that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are among the “corrupt” and “problematic” government agencies.
“In the past many years, when you talk about issues of corruption, controversy, taxpayer welfare, and taxpayer grievances, Customs and BIR will be on the top of the list,” said Gatchalian.
He then asked the Department of Finance, BIR, and BOC to suggest reforms to improve their services.
“I think digitalization will really be the key here. I think to be fair with both agencies, they have done a lot already during the past administration and in fact, what we can promise is to do even better,” Diokno replied.
Meanwhile, BIR Commissioner Lilia Catris Guillermo answered: “We wanted to really change the image of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and that is through digitalization.”
Guillermo added that apart from digital transformation, she is eyeing the moral transformation of employees through webinars and training.
BOC Deputy Commissioner Edward James Buco, on the other hand, shared that the agency has already shifted to online transactions.
“It’s the dream or the mission of every commissioner to eradicate corruption and improve the image of the Bureau of Customs,” said Buco.
“We are one of the first agencies to implement our paperless transactions wherein our stakeholders transact with us online,” he continued, noting that the BOC has no more physical transactions even before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
Buco and Guillermo assured senators that a zero-contact transaction would be possible in their bureaus.
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