MANILA, November 7, 2017 — The Department of Finance (DOF) is targeting to undertake lifestyle checks on at least 70 more employees in the main office and its attached agencies such as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) before yearend.
DOF Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, who oversees the department’s Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS), said this is in line with the Duterte administration’s goal of weeding out corruption in government.
Agabin said the investigation covers officials and employees who have acquired real estate and personal properties with amounts not commensurate to their annual salaries.
“For instance, there is one that we are investigating — in 1996 his annual salary was P80,000, he was able to buy a lot worth P40,000. Then in 1997, he (reported that his) annual salary was P126,000, he was able to buy a lot for P150,000. His annual salary is not even enough to pay for that lot,” Agabin said.
RIPS executive director Ray Gilberto Espinosa said his office adds at least 10 more personnel covered by lifestyle checks every month.
“We started actively initiating investigations last January, so we are targeting around 70 plus by the end of the year,” Espinosa said.
The RIPS, which is the anti-corruption arm of the DOF, forwards cases for further investigation and resolution to either the Office of the Ombudsman or the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
From January to September 2017, decisions were promulgated by the Ombudsman and CSC finding several employees and officials of the BOC and BIR guilty of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty and finding anomalies regarding the accomplishment and filing of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) reports, the RIPS said in a recent statement.
In the administrative cases filed by RIPS, the penalty of dismissal from the service was imposed on two BIR employees and three BOC employees. This carried penalties of forfeiture of benefits, perpetual disqualification to hold public office, and a bar from taking the Civil Service Examinations.