BIR: No witch-hunt at Customs
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) denied lifestyle checks and tax audits are underway for specific personnel of the Bureau of Customs.
“This is not a witch-hunt and we are not singling anyone out. The Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) regularly conducts lifestyle checks on officials and employees of the Department of Finance and all its attached agencies, including the BOC and the BIR, and has been doing so for the past four years. On the other hand, the BIR regularly conducts tax liability audits using a risk profile system. These measures were implemented from the beginning of the Aquino Administration as part of good governance,” said BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares in a statement.
Henares denied the RIPS will conduct special tax audits and lifestyle checks on the 27 Customs collectors, who were transferred to the Customs Policy Research Office (CPRO).
At the same time, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon maintained the 27 Customs officials transferred to the CPRO were chosen based on their experience and expertise in tariff and trade policies as well as exposure to global best practice in customs operations.
"These officials are neither on floating status nor have they been demoted. They have been chosen to chart the future of Customs because they are among the most qualified to take on the job... Their output at the CPRO will form part of the reforms at Customs and we eagerly await their recommendations,” he said.
Fifteen of the 27 Customs officials transferred to the CPRO had asked a Manila regional trial court to issue a TRO to stop their transfer, citing lack of due process and violation of their security of tenure. The court extended the TRO to October 20.