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BIR seeks perks to attract better workers

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) wants exemptions from the government-wide salary standardization as it seeks to give incentives to good performers and get rid of dead weight.

Higher salaries, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares believes, will allow the government’s top revenue-generating agency to hire better talent, which may translate into better collections.

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“We want to give better salaries to people so we can get better people and demand more from them,” she told reporters during the weekend.

Rules under the Salary Standardization Law dictate how much government employees make in a month, based on seniority and the natures of their positions.

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But last Friday, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima cited as an example the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which has been able to compete with the private sector in recruiting talented workers as a result of being exempted from the standardized salaries. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, the Makati Business Club ranked the BSP at the top of its list of best-performing government agencies.

“We need to make (the BIR) into a true meritocracy,” Purisima said in a speech during the BIR’s 110th anniversary celebration.

He said the government wanted a better distinction between workers “who only show up on the 15th and 30th of every month to get their salaries” and “those who are dedicated.”

If approved by Congress, the BIR’s exemption from standardized government salaries would be a turning for the agency, which collects bulk of the money the state needs to fund projects, Henares said.

She said lifting salary standardization rules for BIR employees would help motivate the workers to perform better. It will also mean that employees who do poorly are either let go or relegated to jobs where they can do the least damage.

“I always believe if your salary is better, you have to be more accountable,” Henares said.

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TAGS: Bureau of Internal Revenue, Business, economy, News, salary standardization
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