By Joann Santiago
MANILA, July 2 (PNA) – Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares has declined her nomination for the chief justice post, saying that although reforms are badly needed in the judiciary, her agency is now in “the midst of crucial major reforms.”
In a statement on Monday, Henares cited that “although the Bureau of Internal Revenue has increased its tax efficiency and has been able to register double-digit growth since the start of the Aquino administration, much revenue is still needed.”
“Although I am honored by the faith and confidence reposed upon me by the people who nominated me to the chief justice position, I regret I could not accept the nomination,” she said.
Henares explained that the BIR’s collection goal continues to increase, thus the need to implement enhanced policy to hit the target.
Last year, the BIR failed to hit its collection target of P940 billion but its revenues went up by 12.34 percent to P924.15 billion from year-ago’s P822.62 billion.
This year, the bureau has been tasked to collect its first trillion-level collection at P1.066 trillion and is programmed to collect P1.2 trillion for 2013.
To meet its revenue goal, Henares said they have undertaken several measures like evaluation of the agency’s core processes like registration, filing and payment, auditing and collection, all of which are now nearing completion.
Re-engineering of these processes has started, she said.
The BIR chief also said improvement in the bureau’s Information Taxpayer Systems, which was built in the 1990s, is now underway through a grant from the Compact Program of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
“These major efforts are being undertaken to enable us to meet the ever-increasing challenge of reaching revenue collection targets given to us annually,” she said.
Henares stressed that “the government’s tax collection efforts provide the government with the funds needed to spur economic development and fund social programs to ensure that the benefit of economic growth will trickle down to the less fortunate members of our society.”
She noted that “at this time, the reform we are undertaking in the BIR is as significant as the judicial reform that needs to be undertaken in the Supreme Court.”
“ Inasmuch as revenues are needed by the government to sustain economic progress, it is important to sustain the reforms we are undertaking in the BIR as these changes provide the backbone for reforms in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and are among the major milestones to be achieved to prepare the revenue agency for the future,” she added. (PNA)