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Tax Academy to tie up with SUCs, open VisMin campuses.

By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) will tie up with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) such as the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Makati (UMak) in setting up the first Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) in the country by January next year.

The main campus of the PTA will be at the UMak in Makati City while the UP College of Economics in Diliman is being eyed to offer Executive Program certificate courses to interested DOF employees, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said in a report.

Beltran said the DOF is also planning to open regional campuses of the PTA in the Visayas and Mindanao with the main site in Region 10 following a request by the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) for the renovation of its Northern Mindanao regional office in Cagayan de Oro City to a PTA Center.

This planned PTA Training Center will provide provincial employees of the BLGF, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs continuing professional education and training on improving tax collection competence and efficiency.

The BLGF, Bentran said in his report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, has requested a budget of R33 million to build the PTA Training Center and its offices in the bureau's 1,064 square meter property in Cagayan de Oro City.

Beltran said the BLGF will also soon start offering PTA training courses to local treasurers assigned in the Bicol Region.

The Senate, meanwhile, has expressed interest in the DOF's PTA program and has tasked its Senate Tax Study and Research Office to submit a program for the training of all its Senate employees and the technical staff of senators handling tax matters, Beltran said.

In a report to Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting, Beltran said consultants engaged by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) are also now "onboard" to help develop the PTA curriculum.

Under Republic Act 10143 signed almost seven years ago, the PTA "shall develop and implement a curriculum that includes those pertaining to: (a) the technical aspects of tax collection, administration and compliance; and (b) the career orientation and development for civil servants."

RA 10143 states that the PTA "shall serve as a learning institution for tax collectors and administrators of the government and selected applicants from the private sector."

The PTA is also tasked to "conduct lectures, seminars, workshops and other training programs designed to mold, develop, and enhance the skills and knowledge, moral fitness, efficiency and capability of tax collectors and administrators."

To be set up as a corporate body, the PTA is authorized under the law to enter into consortium agreements and joint venture agreements with the University of the Philippines, public and private universities and training institutions "for the development and implementation of the curriculum, programs for orientation, career development and continuing education in tax collection, auditing, administration and compliance."

Under RA 10143, "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."

The law also requires "all applicants to the said bureaus" "to pass the basic courses before they can be hired whether on contractual or permanent status."

The Board of Trustees of the PTA shall include representatives from the DOF, BIR, BOC, BLGF and three representatives from the academe with at least five years of teaching experience in reputable schools.

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 in taxation and finance assessment and management.

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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Dec 21, 2017
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