Monday, October 20, 2008

BIR's Gandarosa: "They can't buy me"

By Joel Escol
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Bureau of Internal Revenue no. 16 regional director Mustapha Gandarosa the other day said his effective and efficient tax administration campaign in the region were among the reasons why some businessmen tried to destroy him and his credibility.

“That is why these businessmen cannot accuse me that our top three ranking in the whole country was because of their cooperation only. No, it was also because of my effective and efficient tax administration, regional director Gandarosa explained during an interview conducted in his office.

Gandarosa said prior to his assignment in 2006 the region’s tax collection was a big problem, even placing the entire region at the tail end as far as revenue generation is concerned.

“When I assumed office in June 2006 we have been in the top three spot for three consecutive years having achieved our revenue collection target and we have even exceeded our target.”

He clarified that it was an order from the central office to conduct surveillance on the actual sales of businessmen for 2007 that really ignited them to accuse him of going overboard and some of his revenue collectors.

“I am only following orders from the central office to urge businessmen to religiously pay their taxes so that they can also help the government finance more projects in the countryside.” These businessmen who are accusing BIR are also the same businessmen who were hit by my strict implementation of revenue collection.”

He said during the surveillance conducted by his team a lot of businessmen are not honestly reporting their daily sales to the prejudice of the coffers of the national government.

The regional director alleged that one member of the Oro Chamber even tried to bribe him and personally brought large sum of money to his office. He did not elaborate

“But I did not accept it because I don’t need money. I am only here to serve the people and see to it that businessmen should honestly give what is due to the government in terms of taxes.

He also urged the businessmen in the city to help the national government by religiously paying their taxes instead of attacking him below the belt just because he is dedicated to help the government collect more taxes through legal means.

He said it was also during his term that the province of Bukidnon and UKC Builders in Cagayan de Oro were awarded among the top tax payers of the national government. “It was even the first time to happen that the two awardees came from Mindanao. The rest of the awardees were from Luzon, including Television host Kris Aquino, Jollibee, PLDT, and San Miguel Corporation.

During his time the biggest BIR building in Mindanao was built in Cagayan de Oro. The new building cost the national government over 40 million pesos, it was learned. “It’s actually through a lease-purchase agreement between the national government and a bank that we were able to construct this new building. Instead of renting we pay directly to the bank,” he said.

There have been many regional directors that served the bureau but none of them had successfully established the three-story BIR building which now houses the regional office as well as the BIR District 98 office of Cagayan de Oro Revenue District Officer Esther Palala.


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