Bureau of Internal Revenue

Who is Romeo Lumagui Jr., the new BIR commissioner?

Matthew G. Yuching
Who is Romeo Lumagui Jr., the new BIR commissioner?

OATH-TAKING. Romeo Lumagui Jr. (left) and wife Carmela Esquivel-Lumagui (right) pose for a photo with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during his oath-taking as Deputy Commissioner for Operations of the BIR last July 5, 2022.

Courtesy of RTVM

(1st UPDATE) Lumagui’s appointment comes five months after his appointment as deputy commissioner in the BIR

MANILA, Philippines – Tax lawyer Romeo “Jun” Lumagui Jr. was appointed BIR commissioner by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, November 15.

Lumagui has also held other posts throughout his career in the BIR, Including a technical assistant position in the Office of the Commissioner. (READ: Marcos names Romeo Lumagui Jr. as BIR chief)

Here are things to know about the new chief of the revenue bureau.

Education and career

Lumagui graduated from De La Salle University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

He studied at the Ateneo Law School and obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 2005.

After passing the Bar in 2006 where he ranked 19th, Lumagui was an associate at the SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan law firm until 2015.

He soon after co-founded the Morales Justiniano Peña & Lumagui Law Offices, and was a partner until 2016.

He started a career in the BIR in 2016, where he became Regional Investigation Division chief in East NCR.

According to the BIR’s report on internal revenue collection, a total of about P600 billion was collected for the third quarter of the year (July to September). In October, according to a Bulletin report, the bureau fell short of its P187 billion target by P16 billion. Eyes will be on Lumagui for improved collections for the rest of the year.

VAPE RAID. Then-Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Jun Lumagui leads a raid of a warehouse in Manila and confiscates illicit vape units on November 4, 2022. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

In early November, Lumagui led a raid of a warehouse that contained between P15 million to P30 million worth of vape products. He was quoted as saying that illicit vape traders who do not comply with excise tax payments will face more challenges. “We are serious in our crackdown…Expect this is not the last.”

During his time at the BIR, Lumagui developed and oversaw the implementation of the bureau’s modernization program. He also headed the Assets Recovery Task Force and the Task Force on Direct Selling/Multi-Level Marketing and Investment Scams.

Marcos connection

The Lumaguis are not strangers to the current presidential family. His wife Carmela Esquivas-Lumagui was part of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos’ law firms, M & Associates in 2019, and MOST Law in 2015.

They were both active in Marcos’ campaign, with Esquivas-Lumagui hosting rallies and Romeo himself reportedly heading Marcos’ policy team during the campaign period.

The Marcoses were also the couple’s wedding sponsors in 2019.

Former BIR chief Sixto Esquivas IV, who was BIR chief from 2008 to 2009 – during the presidential term of current Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – is Esquivas-Lumagui’s father. – Pola Regalario/Rappler.com

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