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GMA eyes new revenue agency to replace BIR

Monday, 16 January 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to overhaul the Bureau of Internal Revenue and name it the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in a bid to boost tax collection.
In her House Bill 0695, Arroyo cited the need to create a revenue authority so as to reduce the country’s deficit and cut on public expenditures.
“There is an urgent need for Congress to create a revenue authority to address the growing taxpayer dissatisfaction, particularly over front-line services, high level of tax evasion/avoidance, and increasing perception of systematic corruption in the bureau,” Arroyo said.
She said past efforts to reorganize the BIR were unsuccessful because they were only made through administrative decree.
She also noted that the BIR is hampered by at least three fundamental institutional constraints: (a) rigid personnel management system where promotion is based merely on loyalty and seniority rather than exemplary performance (e.g. exceeding the revenue target); (b) compensation structure that restricts the hiring of first-rate professionals; and (c) strict line-item budgeting that limits the flexibility in the allocation of funds.
With the NRA, Arroyo said tax collection can start on a clean slate since the same will be free from political interference in terms of decisions pertaining to revenue rulings, audit and assessment personnel management and budgeting.
Under the proposed measure, the NRA will be governed by a revenue board composed of four representatives from the government and three from the private sector.
The government representatives shall include the heads of the Department of Finance (as chairman), the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Private sector representatives shall be nominated by peak professional organizations, and appointed by the President of the Philippines.
She further stated that the NRA will be headed by a chief executive officer (CEO) responsible for the administrative matters such as work program, organizational structure, annual budget, compensation package, and appointment of rank and file employees, among many others.
The CEO shall be appointed by the revenue board for a period of three years with possible reappointment under a performance-based contract.
The NRA will receive an annual service fee of not less than 1 percent but not more than 2 percent of total collection of the immediate preceding year, net of local government shares.
If it exceeds the annual collection target, the NRA will be also be entitled to 5 percent of annual collection in excess of its target. However, no portion of the performance bonus shall accrue to members of the revenue board.
“The NRA will establish a performance-based management system which shall govern the selection, hiring, appointment, transfer, promotion or dismissal of all personnel. Such system shall aim to attract and retain professionally competent, well-trained, honest, courteous and efficient personnel and to establish professionalism and excellence at all levels of the (NRA),” Arroyo said.                                  

DAVAO CITY — President Duterte said Filipinos can stop graft and corruption in government by being patriotic and that it is time to fight abuses in government.
In a speech during the 49th Annual Installation of the Board of Trustees and Officer of the the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. over the weekend, the President reiterated his pledge of zero corruption in government under his watch.
“Do not be afraid of government employees even the military and the police if you are right. That is what I guarantee you now,” the President told Davao City businessmen during the event in Marco Polo Hotel, noting that if Filipinos want to help the government they have six years to do it.
The public, he said, must be assertive in dealing with government agencies whether in applying for land certificates or clearing packages at the Bureau of Customs.
Only the people can effectively combat graft and corruption because as president, he said, he cannot micromanage everything.
“Anyway I think that we should have a respite from corruption. Now, if you want your country really to grow, ayaw ko ng away (I don’t want to pick up a fight),” he said.
The President also mentioned his war on drugs, adding that after meeting the country’s mayors last week, he is arranging to meet the governors next week to warn them about getting involved in the drug trade. He vowed to eliminate illegal drugs in the country under his term.
Telling criminals and drug dealers how the ongoing deadly crackdown will stop, the President said: “Drop your guns if you are a terrorist; drop the shabu tonight and tomorrow it will be heaven.”
There is good working relations with Malaysia and Indonesia in tackling cross border security and terrorism, he said.
He also said he gave the approval to other countries’ navies to enter Philippine waters during pursuit operations.
Duterte also discussed the ongoing peace process particularly with the communist rebels and Muslim separatists.
At the same time, he told Davao City businessmen that he has brilliant people in his Cabinet helping him move the country forward. While he ensures peace and security, the Cabinet members work on improving the economy and uplifting the lives of the people, he said.             

Rody secures highest foreign aid at P1T in short period

Monday, 16 January 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

President Duterte has raised the highest amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the Philippines at close to P1 trillion in only seven months of his administration.
This was disclosed by Department of Finance (DoF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez during the 49th Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) on Saturday night at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
Dominguez said this is the highest amount raised by any new presidents of the country in history. The amount was raised only from July 2016 to the present from two of the world’s biggest economies.
At a press briefing after the DCCCII event, Dominguez said the total ODA covers only the foreign assistance from China amounting to $9 billion and Japan’s offer of $9-billion (JPY1-trillion). These are voluntary offers from China and Japan and not requests from the Philippine government.
“I’m only counting the amounts from China and the amounts from Japan. Both of them are roughly US billion a piece, which is about 18 trillion. And there are some more ODA that we have received but I haven’t counted in from various other countries,” Dominguez explained.
He said the total amount does not count trade deals like the USD15-billion private commercial deals between the Philippines and China.
According to Dominguez, ODA means government-provided financial loans for infrastructure projects with generally low interest rates and long term payment.
On Monday, Dominguez said they are going to start lining up projects to be funded by ODA and also discuss in details the terms of the assistance offered by Japan. However, he said they have projects in the pipeline not in the amounts that were announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his recent visit in the Philippines.

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