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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has been appointed ex-officio chairperson of the Governing Board of the Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) by President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay were appointed ex-officio vice chairpersons.

The PTA is a specialized training institution of the DOF providing continuing education to the country’s revenue collectors and administrators to improve their competitiveness, expertise, and ethical standards.

Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, in a report during a recent DOF executive committee meeting, said PTA has been able to continue training 258 government employees amidst the coronavirus disease pandemic by migrating the courses online.

“The employees trained from April to June through the PTA’s e-learning system. They include 28 from the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), 152 from the BOC (Bureau of Customs) and 47 from the DOF,” Beltran said.

Another batch of 31 employees from BOC has been undergoing online PTA training as of the first week of September, he added.

Beltran said the PTA is also conducting its basic integrity education program covering 79 BIR employees and a separate refresher and integrity education course for 2,000 BOC workers assigned to the Customs main office and the bureau’s various ports.

By the end of their PTA training, around 600 new BIR employees will be inducted into the service before the end of 2020, Beltran said.

Beltran said local government treasurers also continue to receive training online through the PTA’s e-learning system.

Under Republic Act (RA) No. 10143, PTA “shall serve as a learning institution for tax collectors and administrators of the government and selected applicants from the private sector.”

This law provides that “All existing officials and personnel of the BIR, the BOC and the BLGF (Bureau of Local Government Finance) shall be required to undergo the re-tooling and enhancement seminars and training programs to be conducted by the Philippine Tax Academy.”

It also requires all applicants to these bureaus “to pass the basic courses before they can be hired whether on contractual or permanent status.”

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