Henares on Customs post: It's PNoy's call
MANILA, Philippines - Tax chief Kim Henares as head of the Bureau of Customs (BOC)?
That's up to the President, Henares told Rappler.
After a Rappler report revealed Henares is being eyed for the position of Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner, the tough internal revenue head did not close the doors to the possibility.
"When I entered government it was with one thing in mind: it's to serve the country. It's public service and I believe it's the President's call...where he needs any of us," she said over the phone.
"I'm here to serve the country and serve the President."
According to at least two senior advisers of President Benigno Aquino III, Henares is being considered for the top Customs post to institute reforms in the bureau and increase its revenue.
The move comes after the President hit the BOC for corruption and ineptness in his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA). Customs chief Rozzano Rufino Biazon offered to resign immediately after the SONA, but was told by the President to stay.
Sources said Aquino continues to give Biazon a chance, but has evidently mulled replacements, with Henares being the top choice.
Malacañang has repeatedly said it is instituting widespread reforms in the BOC.
Henares said she has not been approached or asked by any Malacañang official about the possibility of taking over the position, although she admits having heard about it from the business community because "there have been rumors about that for months."
She said she has not really thought about it in the absence of official word from the Palace.
"When you're in government, until you take the oath in office, nothing is certain," she said.
While she admitted it is common that appointments are discussed without the desired appointee knowing, she said it is also usual that "you think you'd be appointed but it didn't come out that way." She added: "The President can change his mind."
Because of this, Henares said she will focus on her current role at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) until she is asked by the President to consider the Customs post.
"Until there's something to think about I'd rather concentrate on what I'm doing now because what I'm doing now is equally as challenging," she said.
The tax chief is at the forefront of a name-and-shame campaign against tax evaders. Under her watch, the BIR has regularly filed charges against allegedly erring individuals and entities, and has improved its collections unlike the past administration that missed targets. - Rappler.com