Biazon open to transfer functions to BIR
MANILA, Philippines – Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon is open to the proposed transfer of the port accreditation and post-audit functions of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
In a statement released Monday, August 5, Biazon said he has no objection to the transfer of these functions as BIR has more expertise in audit and taxation.
The transfer, Biazon said, would also free his agency from the overwhelming task of verifying whether all importers are legitimate.
“The BIR would be the best agency to determine the legitimacy of companies as they have extensive records and more comprehensive procedures in verifying the real existence of companies,” he said.
However, a complete transfer of these functions to the BIR would take time. Not all tasks of the Post Entry Audit Group (PEAG) of the BOC could be handled by the BIR, he noted.
“These are customs functions that will have to be addressed first before PEAG could be transferred to the BIR. And this compliance involves proper valuation and classification of importations, in accordance with the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines and World Customs Organizations practices.”
Finance secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said he wants some of BOC's functions transferred to the BIR to eliminate corruption in the customs bureau.
President Benigno Aquino III in his 4th State of the Nation Address on July 22 shamed BOC personnel for “trying to outdo each other’s incompetence.”
Immediately after the outburst, Biazon tendered his resignation, but Aquino rejected it.
Biazon then ordered 17 BOC collectors to vacate their posts to make way for their reassignment within the bureau.
There were rumors that BIR Commissioner Kim Henares was being eyed to replace Biazon as customs chief. – Cherrie Regalado, Rappler.com
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