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September 26, 2022

More than half of corruption probes involve customs officials

More than half of national government officials investigated for alleged corruption the past five years by the Department of Finance (DOF) are customs officials and about a third of them are revenue employees.

This was bared on Tuesday by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez who said that of the 468 employees subjected to a lifestyle check, 58 were charged before the Ombudsman or have received sanctions by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and other quasi-judicial bodies.

According to Dominguez, the overwhelming cases of corruption were those uncovered at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) 257 of whose employees or 55 percent were investigated and that 177 more were Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) personnel.

From July 2016 up to February this year, 16 of those charged with corruption have been dismissed and 10 were guilty of the crime they were held liable.

Thirty-five more employees were suspended, nine were reprimanded and seven were ordered to pay fines as penalty for the charges they were made to account.

The DOF’s Legal Affairs Office, which provided inputs to various legislative proposals originating from the agency, monitored the cases in court.

The Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBRA), an attached agency, also received appeals on P1.92 billion worth of real property taxes in 2021 and that four of those cases were resolved in its favor while five more remain pending.

Twenty of those cases eventually reached the Supreme Court and six were decided in its favor, according to the CBRA.

It reported having resolved nine of every 10 cases brought before it within the 90-day period set by regulation.

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