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PIA Press Release

BIR opens new Mindanao IT training center in Tagum City

By Noel Baguio

Davao City (4 February) -- In pursuit of the government's continuing quest for fiscal stability, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has inaugurated its Mindanao Information Technology Training Center in Mankilam, Tagum City last January 26, 2008.

Designed to host future trainings in computerizing tax administration in the five revenue regions of Mindanao, the new IT training facility was launched under the Nationwide Rollout of Computerized Systems (NCRS) Project, through the support of the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippine Threshold Program Technical Assistance Project (MCA-PTP TAP), which is being administered by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The center is specifically aims to serve as a venue for various human resource development initiatives of the BIR towards improving revenue administration, providing better service to taxpayers and deterring tax evasion.

The fully-airconditioned facility is equipped with 41 desktop computers that are interconnected using wireless local area network, tables and chairs, an LCD projector, photocopier, and a complete sound system.

Atty. Phyllis Cox, Chief Party of the MCA-PTP-TAP said the assistance intends to fight corruption and to try to increase revenue collections to enable the government to allot more funds for education, for health and other social services.

"The MCA is designed to work with governments of other countries which are trying to strengthen their efforts to rule more justly, to govern better, to serve their people more and to build their economic foundation," she said, stressing that training of BIR personnel is crucial in improving tax collections.

BIR Commissioner Sixto S. Esquivas IV was represented by Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue Lilia Guillermo during the facility's launching ceremony.

In his message Commissioner Esquivas emphasized the very challenging endeavors involving the integrated tax system (ITS) and the bureau's flagship anti-corruption effort, which is the run after tax evaders (RATE) program.

He also asked the BIR officials and personnel to make sure the trainings and seminars held at the facility shall be carefully crafted and developed to ensure the greatest possible level of learning for the participants.

The best way to show gratitude to the funding agencies, he said, is to employ the knowledge "we have gained in the training programs conducted in the facility for the sustained improvement of our services to the people, our implementation of the country's tax laws and our observance of the ideals of taxation".

Revenue Executive Assistant Nora Tembrevilla said the opening of the center means a lot of savings in transportation, time and effort for the BIR personnel of Mindanao as they no longer need to go to Manila or Cebu for their training needs.

During the inauguration ceremony, the BIR also recognized Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario for his outstanding contribution to the realization of the BIR's vision for a professionally-competent workforce. The governor was instrumental to the construction of the BIR Annex building that now houses the new IT training facility.

Del Rosario said he facilitated the construction of the annex building in order to convince the BIR leadership to put the important facility in Tagum City. He hailed the center as important to the continuous transformation in the capability of BIR employees, particularly in pursuit of the national government's goal of increasing revenue collection.

Regional Revenue 19 Director Nestor Valeroso cited Tagum City as the best site for the training center owing to its strategic location, such as proximity to the Davao International Airport, its accessibility from the Central, Southern and Northern Mindanao areas and soon from the Western and Eastern Mindanao areas with the construction of the Talaingod Bukidnon Road. (CIO-PIA XI) [top]

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