THE Department of Finance (DOF) is pushing for the exclusion of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from the Salary Standardization Law in order to better compensate its employees, as well as to further improve the government’s revenue generation capability.
In his speech before BIR employees during the bureau’s 110th anniversary, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisma said that it is important for the government to invest in human resources so that it can improve its services.
In particular, Purisima said the government is looking at how it can have more fundamental reforms in the tax bureau.
“The economy of the country is becoming more sophisticated; therefore, we need to make sure that the BIR has the skills to actually perform its job. We can start discussion about removing the BIR from the Salary Standardization Law,” he said.
Enacted by both houses of Congress, the Salary Standardization Law III or the Joint Resolution No. 4, states the rates for standardized salaries of Philippine government employees.
“We need to invest in the organization that’s generating resources. We can work together with other parts of the government to see how we can make this happen,” Purisima said.
“We need to see how we can have more incentive compensation to employees who are truly dedicated and give their best in making sure that the bureau is able to deliver its goals. We need to do more fundamental reforms,” he added.
For her part, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares welcomed the Finance chief’s initiative but stressed that collecting taxes is the main focus of the agency at present.
“This has been top of mind but we have been concentrating on collecting taxes first. We can start thinking about it. The thing there is we want to give better salaries to the people. So we get better people and we can demand more from them. It includes some obligation on our part. We will work to get out of salary standardization,” she said.
Henares added that higher salaries include stricter contracts and performance indicators for employees.
“I always believe if your salary is better, you have to be more accountable. Seniority should be the last. If you’re performing well at the same level, then seniority comes in but seniority should not be the gauge,” she said.