New tax chief overhauls BIR; shuffles 57 key positions

Posted at 12/17/2009 7:33 PM | Updated as of 12/21/2009 10:35 AM

Tan-Torres beefs up Large Taxpayer Service, which delivers 70% of collections

MANILA, Philippines - Joel Tan-Torres, who was appointed as commissioner of Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) late last month, has implemented a massive reshuffling of key positions in the agency.

On Tuesday, Tan-Torres issued 4 revenue travel assignment orders, affecting some 57 top positions in the bureau. These orders were approved by Finance Secretary Margarito Teves.

He said the reorganization, which would take effect in January next year, would place "underachievers in positions with less responsibilities."

"The reorganization seeks to infuse new ideas in the bureau," Tan-Torres told reporters on Thursday.

At the BIR's national office, 7 assistant commissioners, a regional director, and a head revenue executive were given new assignments.

Under Revenue Travel Assignment Order No. 139-2009, San Pablo City regional director was promoted to acting assistant commissioner of the Regular Large Taxpayers division of the bureau's Large Taxpayers Service (LTS).

Assistant commissioner for LTS Zenaida Garcia, in turn, was appointed as officer-in-charge of the Excise Large Taxpayers of the LTS.

Zenaida Chang, assistant commissioner for financial and administration service, was appointed as special assistant at the Office of the Deputy Commissioner Resource Management Group.

Assistant commissioner Eufrocina Casasola of the Inspection Service, meanwhile, was transferred to the bureau's Financial and Administrative Service.

"Before leaving for their new assignments, they must first comply with the requirements of Revenue Memorandum Order No. 58-75 and 36-87 dated October 27, 1975 and November 10, 1987 respectively, regarding inventory of pending papers, correspondence and property responsibilities in their possession," the BIR order stated.

Revenue Travel Assignment Order No. 140-2009 reshuffled 9 BIR regional directors, affecting those assigned in Manila, Makati, Caloocan, Cebu, Zamboanga, Tacloban, Bacolod, Iloilo, San Pablo, and Cebu.

On the other hand, Revenue Travel Assignment Order No. 141-2009 reassigned 4 assistant regional directors, the head of the Excise Large Taxpayers, a revenue district officer, and the chief of the Large Taxpayers Audit and Investigation Division of the BIR.

Finally, Revenue Travel Assignment Order No. 142-2009 reorganized 32 revenue district officers (RDO) nationwide, which represents about a quarter of the 124 RDOs in the country.

On top of all these, Tan Torres said the LTS will have 2 more assistant commissioners and 4 more audit divisions.

"We feel we will be able to monitor the compliance of Large Taxpayers better," he said, noting that 70% of taxes come from large taxpayers.

"We are putting our resources best where we get the most taxes...We put the manpower in an area where we collect the most," he added.

Tan-Torres said the staff reassignments were based on key performance indicators, such as effectiveness in collecting taxes and the efficiency in closing tax-evading business establishments under the BIR's "Oplan Kandado" program.

The BIR last experienced a reorganization in March, under the leadership of then-commissioner Sixto Esquivias IV.