mga kwento at haka-haka ni kakang pepe

Friday, January 21, 2005

Lateral Attrition Act

This new ratified act is expected to add teeth in the fight against graft and corruption in revenue-collectiong agencies, particularly the Bureau of Custom and Bureau of Internal Revenue. In a nutshell, it states that personnel of these agencies may be sanctioned administratively if it falls by 7.5% of the target. Au contraire, they will get a windfall if they exceed the target by 30%.

I'm skeptical...

These brigands are not even covered by salary standardization, which means they get a relatively higher salary than other civil servants. Is it cunning to dangle this carrot just to motivate them to do their work properly? My golly, they are already paid to do this!

Okay, let's give it the benefit of the dumb and say that it will do the trick for these marauder, but who will set the tax collection target and make sure they challenging yet realistic enough? It might only legalize graft and corruption. Who will be entitled to share from the excess collection? Will this include the BIR commissioner and other top officials of the bureau? This may give rise to conflict of interest.

I honestly believe that most of these people are well-meaning. But the system of these revenue-generating agencies is rotten to the core that you want have a chance to be the good guy. This postulate can easily be validated by getting any corrupt official, say someone from custom, to work in another country like Singapore where a good system is in place. I bet you my balls, this guy will surely toe the line, else, calaboose and hefty penalty is in the offing.

Why not attack the root cause, in this case the system? Get someone, preferrably a consultant from the outside, that will put the system in a microscope. It's a daunting endeavour to try to look at the system and revamp it as a whole. The system should be broken down, for the purpose of analysis, into its component where it is easier to disect. In engineering principle, we call it "process mapping". Make the review dynamic and should be looked at every 2 or more years, or as necessary for fine tuning.

"Carrot and stick" approach is one way to enhance these agencies, but a robust system must be in place.