MANILA - In a bid to improve the country's tax collection, former President and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is seeking to overhaul the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and naming it the National Revenue Authority (NRA).
“There is an urgent 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 in her House Bill 0695.
The Pampanga representatives said previous administrative decrees that sought to reorganize the BIR failed because the agency continued to be hampered by:
- A rigid personnel management system where promotion is based merely seniority rather than performance;
- A compensation structure that restricts the hiring of first-rate professionals; and
- A strict line-item budgeting that limits the flexibility in fund allocation.
With the NRA, Arroyo said tax collection can start on a clean slate since it will be free of political interference in terms of revenue rulings, audit and assessment personnel management, and budgeting.
Arroyo proposed for the NRA to 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, the Department of Budget and Management, the National Economic Development Authority, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Private sector representatives, meanwhile, shall be nominated by top professional organizations and appointed by the President.
They must be recognized experts in the fields of economics, accounting, law, business management and other allied professions, Arroyo added.
The bill also states that the NRA will be headed by a chief executive officer (CEO) responsible for the work program, organizational structure, annual budget, compensation package, and appointment of rank and file employees, among many others.