At least 70 more officials and employees of the Department of Finance (DoF) and its attached agencies will undergo lifestyle checks, an official said on Thursday.
Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, who oversees the agency’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS), said the investigation will cover officials and employees who have acquired real estate and personal properties valued far beyond what should be commensurate to their annual salaries.
“For instance, there is one that we are investigating—in 1996 his annual salary was P80,000, he was able to buy a lot worth P40,000. Then in 1997, he [reported that his]annual salary was P126,000. He was able to buy a lot for P150,000. His annual salary [was]not even enough to pay for that lot,” Agabin said in a statement.
Meanwhile, RIPS Executive Director Ray Gilberto Espinosa said his office adds at least 10 more personnel every month to the list of those to be covered by lifestyle checks.
“We started actively initiating investigations last January, so we are targeting around 70 plus by the end of the year,” he said.
The RIPS, which is the anti-corruption arm of the Finance department, forwards cases for further investigation and resolution to either the Office of the Ombudsman or the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
From January to September 2017, decisions were promulgated by the Ombudsman and the CSC, finding several employees and officials of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Bureau Internal Revenue (BIR) guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty. They also found anomalies related to the accomplishment and filing of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth reports.
In the administrative cases filed by RIPS, the penalty of dismissal from the service has been imposed on two BIR employees and three BOC employees. The penalties also included forfeiture of benefits and perpetual disqualification from holding public office.