The Department of Finance (DOF) is now coordinating with the School of Economics of the University of Philippines (UP) and the University of Makati (UMak) to explore possible tie ups in establishing the country’s first Philippine Tax Academy (PTA).
DOF Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the PTA, which is scheduled to open in January next year, will be funded from the excess income of the Bureau of Treasury (BTr), as recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
“We are now meeting with officials from the UP School of Economics for a possible partnership in establishing the PTA alongside our existing one with UMaK,” Beltran said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III at a recent DOF Executive Committee meeting.
Beltran said the DOF has also began receiving entries for the PTA Logo Making Contest, in which the winner will get a cash prize of P10,000.
The winning logo should convey simplicity, should be future proof, and easily memorized and recognized as the symbol of the PTA, Beltran said.
“The logo should symbolize the entire identity and brand of the PTA,” he added.
According to Dominguez, the PTA will provide revenue and customs authorities a learning institution dedicated to their continuous training and study on improving tax collection competence and efficiency.
Republic Act No. 10143, which was signed into law almost seven years ago during the 14th Congress, enables the DOF to set up the PTA to provide continuous training and education to personnel of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR), of Customs (BOC) and of Local Government Finance (BLGF).
Beltran earlier said the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has expressed its intent to assist the DOF and its attached revenue agencies in identifying the training programs to be offered at the Tax Academy.
Dominguez said a proposal by BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to set up a Customs Academy would be tied up with the PTA that will be operational by next year at the UMaK.
“We are already in consultation with the University of Makati to locate initially our campus there,” Dominguez said.
Under RA 10143, the Tax Academy “shall develop and implement a curriculum which includes those pertaining to: (a) the technical aspects of tax collection, administration and compliance; and (b) the career orientation and development for civil servants.”
The Tax Academy, which will be set up as a corporate body, will also accept selected applicants from the private sector.
The law mandates that “All existing officials and personnel of the BIR, the BOC and the BLGF shall be required to undergo the re-tooling and enhancement seminars and training programs to be conducted by the Philippine Tax Academy.”
All applicants in the said bureaus shall also be required to pass the basic courses offered by the Tax Academy before they can be hired “whether on contractual or permanent status” in these offices.
Other Asian countries such as Japan, China, India, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia have their respective tax academies that also train tax and customs authorities, as well as private individuals on taxation and finance assessment and management.