THE Department of Finance (DoF) said Tuesday that it is now offering a portal for complaints about unexplained wealth against officials of its various agencies, including the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
In a statement, the DoF said the department now has an “Information against Corruption” page for use by members of the public seeking to provide information against government personnel “who might own properties or live lifestyles grossly disproportionate to their lawful incomes,” in a bid to curb corruption.
It covers officials at the DoF, BIR, BoC, Bureau of the Treasury, Bureau of Local Government Finance, Insurance Commission, National Tax Research Center, Central Board of Assessment Appeals, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency, Privatization and Management Office, and Securities and Exchange Commission.
The page can be accessed at https://www.dof.gov.ph/report-corruption/ which contains a form in which the complainant must provide an e-mail address, with the option to omit other identifying details.
The form asks for the name of the official, the agency, position, place of assignment, the type of property suspected to have been unlawfully acquired, as well as supporting documents that can be uploaded on the website.
Executive Order No. 25 series of 2003 authorizes the Finance Secretary to investigate information provided on possible corrupt practices and submit the findings to the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action, including criminal prosecution and dismissal from the service.
“In light of the memorandum of President Duterte directing the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate allegations of corruption in the entire bureaucracy, this Department shall be pleased to extend its assistance which your department may need,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a letter to Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra quoted in the statement.
In October, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered a broad investigation into corruption in the government, which will run until 2022.
The DoF, through its Revenue Integrity Protection Service (RIPS) team, has investigated 384 employees of the DoF and its agencies since July 2016.
RIPS has the power to look into suspected cases of corruption and file criminal, civil or administrative complaints. — Beatrice M. Laforga