Lacson Bill Creates Tax Academy to Professionalize Tax Collection

Citing the need to train tax collection and administration personnel to help government improve their tax collection efficiency, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill creating a Philippine Tax Academy. 

Lacson filed Senate Bill 3206 creating the institution that will “educate, train, mold and develop” tax collectors and administrators.

“It is therefore urgent that we create a Philippine Tax Academy that will be staffed by a corps of professional lecturers in the fields of taxation, finance and revenue administration, among others, to provide the basic theoretical construct and experimental knowledge to prospective and incumbent revenue collectors and administrators,” Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committees on Finance and Ways and Means, said in his bill.

He pointed out there are many institutions or academies that provide specialized training in other aspects of public service. These include the Local Executive Academy, Judicial Academy, Tourism Academy, Philippine Military Academy, and Philippine National Police Academy.

“It is envisioned that in the long run, this will contribute to enhance tax collection efficiency and tax administration in general, thus, raise our tax effort and help arrest our budget deficit,” Lacson said of the proposed Philippine Tax Academy.

He also noted that the increasing needs of a growing population will require a substantial rise in tax collection. He lamented the government’s tax effort in relation to Gross Domestic Product had been declining from 16.3 percent in 1995 to as low as 12.4 percent in 2004, and 15.1 percent in 2008.

Under the bill, the Philippine Tax Academy will be a component unit under the supervision of the Department of Finance.

The Academy will implement a curriculum for tax collectors and administrators, and shall conduct seminars, workshops and training programs to enhance their “skills and knowledge, moral fitness, efficiency and capability.”

It will have a board of trustees appointed by the President, from nominees of the DOF. The board will have members from the DOF, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Local Government Finance, and three representatives from the academe.

Representatives from the academe will nominees of State Universities or accredited private institutions. They must have at least five years’ teaching experience in a reputable school in taxation, public finance and public administration.

The board member representing the DOF shall be ex-officio chairperson of the Board, while the board member representing the BIR and BOC will be ex-officio vice chairpersons.

Members of the board will serve for a minimum of three years and will have honoraria instead of a fixed compensation.

The Academy may enter into consortium agreements with the University of the Philippines and training institutions for curriculum development and continuing educations in tax collection, auditing and administration.