The Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) is exploring a possible partnership with the Centre of Development Studies of the UK-based University of Cambridge and has partnered with the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) to further raise the standards of its course offerings designed to hone the professionalism of the country’s revenue officers, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
According to Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, this possible tie up with Cambridge’s Centre for Development Studies involves developing a study program on integrity education “as a continuing course offering of the PTA.”
The partnership with UPLB in Laguna, meanwhile, involves a joint program and possible sharing of facilities with the school that will serve as a secondary campus for the PTA, Beltran said.
Beltran also reported to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee meeting that the PTA’s program, curriculum and syllabus were developed based on ASEAN University Network Standards.
The PTA, Beltran said, has also mapped out a set of possible study programs with UP, including a masteral program with specialization on taxation or local finance.
He said the PTA is now studying the possibility of using the UPLB’s College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAD) facilities near the Local Government Academy in Los Baños to help set up its training center.
“The DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) may build the structure for the PTA, which will then share common facilities with the UPLB-CPAD,” Beltran said.
The PTA has also submitted to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) its three-year Strategic Information Plan, which includes setting up an information system for the Academy to facilitate knowledge sharing, Beltran said.
During the launching in February of the PTA, Dominguez said this institution, which is the first of its kind in the country, will not only provide the country’s revenue collectors and administrators with continuing training on best practices to sharpen their competitiveness but will also aim to heighten their commitment to their profession and raise their ethical standards.
Dominguez said that on the watch of President Duterte, the DOF has taken a “great leap forward” in professionalizing revenue agencies by putting flesh to the PTA eight years after it was envisioned under Republic Act 10143.
In the course of the DOF’s strategic planning for the PTA, Dominguez said the Department had envisioned the institution to be “a fully functioning and self-sustaining dynamic and innovative center of excellence for capacitating tax and customs administrators, taxpayers and other stakeholders.”
Dominguez said he expects the PTA to collect information from all over the world and build strong linkages between research and education, while ensuring “complementarity between professional training and professional management.”
He also wants the PTA to be the tool for developing continuing cooperation with other professional associations, development and funding institutions as well as foreign governments.
Under RA 10143, the PTA “shall serve as a learning institution for tax collectors and administrators of the government and selected applicants from the private sector.”
This law provides that, “All existing officials and personnel of the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), the BOC (Bureau of Customs) 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.”
It also requires “all applicants to the said bureaus” “to pass the basic courses before they can be hired whether on contractual or permanent status.”