RJ Jacinto is Duterte’s newest adviser
Seventy-year-old Ramon “RJ” Jacinto, who used to campaign for President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the 2016 elections, is now named presidential adviser on economic affairs and information technology communications, Malacañang announced on Thursday, July 14.
An economics graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University and a law graduate from the University of Sto. Tomas, Jacinto is also a musician and businessman. He manages businesses in real estate, retail, and manufacturing under the RJ Group of Companies.
Other appointees named on Thursday were Gen. Arthur Tabaquero as presidential adviser on military affairs; Raymundo de Vera Elefante as undersecretary for finance, ammunitions, installations, and materials of the Department of National Defense; Jesus Clint Aranas and Lanee Cui-David as deputy commissioners of the Bureau of Internal Revenue; and Gamaliel Cordoba as re-appointed commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission.
Red tape eliminated
Following the promise of Duterte during his inaugural speech to eliminate red tape, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued a memorandum circular (RMC) make it easier and faster to secure tax clearance certificates (TCCs) and certificates authorizing registration (CARs), the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on Thursday.
RMC No. 74-2016, issued by BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay on June 13, has now reduced to only three documents to issue tax clearances (from the previous nine documents): a notarized application form with two pieces of loose documentary stamp tax (DST); a delinquency verification issued by the concerned BIR office; and a print-out of the certification fee paid through the BIR’s electronic filing and payment system (eRPS), with payment confirmation.
After the taxpayer has filed the application, RMC 74-2016 also orders BIR offices to issue a delinquency verification form within 24 hours, which will be valid for one month.
But criteria for the approval of TCC applications will still be followed. Applicants must have no delinquent account, no open valid “stop filer” case, and no unpaid annual registration fee. He or she must be a user of the eFPS for at least two consecutive months prior to the TCC application, and must be a recognized taxpayer.
Dulay also issued Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 41-2016 on July 12, which authorizes strict adherence to the BIR’s Citizen Charter and the provisions of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (Republic Act No. 9485) when processing and issuing CARs.
The RMO shortens the amount of time needed to issue CARs. From a previous time frame of five to 10 days, the prescribed period is now limited to five days or less.
The BIR also states that “officials and employees found to have violated this directive shall be subject to the criminal and administrative penalties provided under the Anti-Red Tape Act.” – Serina Alonzo