BIR commemorates its 119th Founding Anniversary with ‘I am BIR’ theme

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commemorated its 119th founding anniversary with great enthusiasm and pride during a grand celebration held on August 1, 2023 at the Reception Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City with the theme “I am BIR”.

BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr., together with OIC-DCIR Maridur V. Rosario, DCIR Marissa O. Cabreros, DCIR Ma. Rosario Charo G. Enriquez-Curiba, and DCIR Teresita M. Angeles, led the Anniversary Program, which was attended by BIR officials (Assistant Commissioners, Head Revenue Executive Assistants, Regional Directors, Revenue Data Center Heads, Revenue District Officers, and National Office/Large Taxpayers Division Chiefs), and rank-and-file representatives.

Gracing the event was Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno as the Guest of Honor who delivered the Keynote Message, and representatives of BIR Partners from the private and public sectors.

The program commenced with an inspiring Invocation led by BIR Revenue Region 8B – South NCR Choir. This was followed by the awarding of BIR’s BEST to two (2) deserving BIR employees, Blessica D. Reserva and Leonardo A. Aguilar, who were recognized for their Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Ethical Behavior, respectively.

An audio-visual presentation of the BIR’s Accomplishments in 2022 was shown as part of the Commissioner’s Report where Commissioner Lumagui delivered an inspiring speech focusing on the theme “I am BIR”.

In his message, Commissioner Lumagui, Jr. reminded all revenuers of their duty and the opportunity to build a new BIR—one that people can trust and partner with in their journey of nation-building. He stressed the need for embracing change and continuously striving for improvement by committing to “ethical practices, transparency and professionalism” in carrying out one’s duties.

Lumagui also emphasized the significance of the revenuers’ role in nation-building as the revenues collected fuel various development programs and initiatives that promote growth, alleviate poverty, and provide essential services to fellow citizens.

“This is why our theme for this anniversary resonates deeply within me. I AM BIR, because I want everyone to own up to all the accomplishments we have achieved. Own the record-breaking tax collections; own the excellent taxpayers service; own the fearless and aggressive enforcement activities; own the internal cleansing efforts; own the recalibrated digital services. All of you have contributed to these accomplishments in your own little ways.  At the same time, own the negative perception, own the distrust and own the doubts and skepticisms that the public indiscriminately throw upon us. By owning all these, each of us will consciously act to remove the negative perceptions and strive to achieve excellence and integrity.  Individually, we can gradually transform the image of the Bureau, one interaction at a time, by embracing our core values and showing integrity, honor and utmost professionalism in all our dealings”, said Commissioner Lumagui.

The event was also highlighted by the Keynote Message of Finance Secretary Diokno wherein he commended the BIR for its remarkable accomplishments in revenue collection and tax enforcement efforts. In his message, he cited the BIR’s 7.7% or Php86.7 billion year-on-year growth in collection, that reached Php1.2 trillion during the first half of 2023.

Secretary Diokno also lauded the BIR’s aggressive tax enforcement measures to curb tax evasion under the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) Program, which resulted to the filing of 192 complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against erring taxpayers from July 2022 to May 2023 with an estimated Php8 billion tax liabilities.

The Secretary also highlighted the Bureau’s Oplan Kandado Program that resulted to the issuance of 134 Closure Orders against erring business establishments and collection of Php 332.5 Million tax delinquencies. He also took note of Commissioner Lumagui’s Flagship Program, the Run After Fake Transactions (RAFT) Program that already resulted to the filing of criminal charges against nine individuals involved in “Ghost Corporations”, a scheme that had cost the government billions in tax losses.

“These programs demonstrate the government’s intensified efforts to promote fairness and transparency in the tax system. Now, improving tax administration and enhancing the efficiency of our tax system will require the digital transformation of our revenue agencies. That is why I commend the BIR for continuously recalibrating and upgrading its Digital Transformation or DX Program Framework to ensure that the Program is truly responsive to the needs of our taxpayers and the demands of the 21st-century economy”, said Secretary Diokno.

The event culminated with the meaningful “BIR Manifesto and Commitment Setting” where BIR officials and personnel pledged their unwavering dedication to the Bureau’s promise of “Serbisyong BIR: Tapat at Maaasahan”.