MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is set to increase its work force by thousands more to cater to the growing needs of the taxpayers and as the agency’s revenue goals continue to grow.
Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said the government’s largest earner is set to increase its current 12,000 work force to about 16,000 more, possibly within the year.
“We need to hire more people because other than the fact that some employees die, retire and resign. We also have to keep up with the demands brought about by the increasing number of taxpayers all over the country,” Henares said.
Of the 12,000 BIR employees, 10,387 are below director level positions.
BIR would hire more examiners, who must be certified public accountants, collection officers and lawyers.
Henares said the agency at the moment is prioritizing the large tax evaders as they lack the manpower to go after the smaller ones, such as the businessmen who work at home or the professionals, whom the government accuse of not paying proper taxes.
“Of course there are many people who we are running after. It’s just a matter of timing and prioritizing the big ones.
We are only few at the BIR, as compared to the number of taxpayers,” Henares said.
Reymarie de la Cruz, head of the agency’s tax information and education division, said that last year there were 18.95 million taxpayers, or 10 percent higher than the previous year.
Of the 2011 total figure, some 615,734 are corporate taxpayers, while 12.07 million are individual taxpayers.
The remaining 6.26 million are estate and trust taxpayers, marginal income earners, one-time taxpayers and other registered taxpayers.
Henares said the agency has already asked the Department of Budget and Management for the additional funds needed for the hiring of personnel.
“Other than screening the qualifications of the applicants, they also have to take a series of examinations. If they passed, there will be an interview, and then we will come back to them and inform them whether there are available positions waiting for them,” she said, adding that the hiring of additional personnel will be a continuous process.
For this year, the BIR is tasked to collect P1.066 trillion, the first time in history that its goals reached the trillion-peso mark.