By Prince Golez
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism to raise public trust in the country’s tax system.
“I also furthermore challenge the men and women of the BIR to work towards further gaining the confidence of the public in the tax system by upholding the highest standards of integrity, professionalism and competence in the performance of your duties,” Marcos Jr. said during the BIR’s 2023 National Tax Campaign Kickoff in Pasay City.
The President also assured the agency that his administration “will always give support in your aspiration of developing a country that is conducive for employment opportunities, financial investments, and institution-building.”
Marcos Jr. also expressed confidence that Filipinos will continue to cooperate, collaborate and coordinate with the government to improve the tax collection system.
Public cooperation will result in more opportunities for growth, especially as the country recovers from the adverse impacts of the global health crisis, he said, assuring the people that the government is committed to managing and utilizing their contributions for the good of the nation.
In his speech, the Chief Executive cited BIR’s accomplishments last year, particularly the intensified implementation of the Run After Tax Evaders, which resulted in the filing of 15 cases with the Department of Justice (DOJ) amounting to P5.1 billion in tax liability.
This is in addition to 38 cases filed with the Court of Tax Appeals (CA), totaling an estimated P5.32 billion in tax liability. A total of 74 criminal complaints for tax evasion were recently filed before the DOJ, with about P3.58 billion in tax liability.
The BIR has also brought more than P550 million into government coffers through its Oplan Kandado program, according to Marcos Jr.
It likewise expanded the country’s tax base through the aggressive Tax Compliance Drive, allowing it to collect more than P250 million in 2022, more than doubling the collection from the previous year.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. also commended the BIR for using modern technology to achieve more efficient, effective and dependable tax collections through the Digitalization Transformation or DX Program.
This includes the implementation of the Internal Revenue Integrated System; one-time transaction or the eONETT system; Interactive chatbot “Revie”; automated system for Monitoring and Managing Administrative Cases; and an Enhanced Internal Revenue Stamps Integrated System for tobacco products, alcohol and sweetened beverages.
“As we move forward to the future, the importance of utilizing modern and updated technology to ensure a more [efficient] tax collection becomes absolutely imperative. It is my hope that the Bureau will continue its commitment to pursuing and upgrading its digitalization programs,” he said.