The BIR is advocating for salary raises for their employees, citing challenges in keeping and recruiting lawyers and accountants who are more drawn to other agencies with better compensation.
“We are experiencing challenges in hiring staff due to the relatively low salary for lawyers and accountants. These professions are in high demand, as they are competitive with agencies like the Public Attorney’s Office and the Civil Service Commission,” stated BIR Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Monday regarding the budget of the Department of Finance (DoF) and its affiliated organizations.
According to his observations, lawyers at the BIR receive a monthly salary of P27,000 at the beginning of their career, while lawyers at the CSC are guaranteed a minimum of P51,000 per month.
During the hearing, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno proposed that the BIR reconsider the job titles of tax collectors, lawyers, and accountants in the organization in order to offer them a higher salary.
The problem arose when Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian inquired about the BIR and Bureau of Customs’ actions towards filling the 11,745 vacant positions in both agencies.
The senator stated that it is a significant sum, taking into account that the BoC and BIR are responsible for collecting revenue. They believe that having a larger staff will lead to increased efficiency and higher tax collection.
The Senate Finance committee presented the Department of Finance’s suggested budget of P32.4 billion to the full Senate for additional discussions.
According to Mr. Diokno, P62.3% or P17.2 billion of the budget will be allocated towards digitalization and modernization projects.
Mr. Gatchalian explained that in order to prevent corruption and attract top talent to improve the reputation of the office, we require salary packages at the industry level, as the office deals with government tax collection.