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Duterte orders BIR to reshuffle personnel
President Rodrigo Duterte said he has asked Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay to submit a list of officials to be affected by the reassignment.
KJ Rosales, File

Duterte orders BIR to reshuffle personnel

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has ordered the reshuffling of tax officials and the “freezing” of government personnel believed to be involved in irregularities.

Duterte said he has asked Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay to submit a list of officials to be affected by the reassignment.

“I’d like to request Atty. Dulay of BIR, you implement a reshuffle. You reshuffle people and give me a list. And I will review if... it would promote the service of these people to the country,” Duterte said in a televised public address last Monday.

“There’s a lot of work to do here...Atty. Dulay...I know him. He’s a friend. Bill (Dulay), reshuffle them. If they already have a reputation, do not give them assignments, ask them to report to your office,” he added.

Duterte said he has issued a similar directive to public works Secretary Mark Villar, whose agency is the focus of a probe being conducted by a justice department-led task force.

The President has described the corruption in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as “grave” but believes that Villar is not involved in anomalies.

“Just like in DPWH. I requested Secretary Villar to reshuffle people and to submit to me the persons assigned to other places and I will review it and I will maybe reconfigure (it) and ask about the regional directors,” Duterte said.

Duterte also asked Villar to tell a female official to resign but did not provide other details. He has also asked government directors to “freeze” those whom they think are involved in anomalies.

“I request all directors in all departments, if you have doubts, I would ask you to relieve that employee and assign him to your office so you won’t be dragged. Just freeze them if we cannot stop them,” the President said.

The Department of Finance’s (DOF), meanwhile, said it is ready to extend assistance to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the investigation of corrupt finance and revenue officials through its Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS). 

“In light of the memorandum of President Duterte directing the DOJ to investigate allegations of corruption in the entire bureaucracy, this department shall be pleased to extend its assistance which your department may need,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a letter to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.  

“(The RIPS) has the authority to gather evidence and file the appropriate criminal, civil or administrative complaints against government officials and employees in the said offices before the appropriate court or administrative body and actively assist in the prosecution of the cases,” he added.   

Since July 2016, the RIPS has initiated investigations against 384 officials and employees of the DOF and its attached agencies.  

The RIPS was also able to charge 57 individuals before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Office of the Ombudsman, 14 of whom were dismissed from the service, according to the DOF.

Dominguez said the DOJ may coordinate with RIPS executive director Ray Gilberto Espinosa to discuss how the two departments can coordinate their anti-graft efforts. 

In support of the Duterte administration’s anti-corruption drive, the DOF also launched a webpage that would allow the public to submit information against suspected corrupt officials in the DOF and its attached agencies. 

Dominguez said the “Information against Corruption Page” can be found in the DOF’s website.

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