The Philippine Tax Academy (PTA) is planning to team up with the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) in offering a post-graduate program on finance and taxation to qualified employees of the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies.
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said the proposed joint program with the UPLB Graduate School on post-graduate education will be off-campus and will run for three semesters.
“Under this plan, the DOF will cover the tuition expenses of qualified employees. The class will be held at the DOF either after office hours or the whole of every Friday,” Beltran said in his report to Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent DOF Executive Committee (Execom) meeting.
Employees from the Bureaus of Internal Revenue (BIR), of Customs (BOC), and of Local Government Finance (BLGF) can also apply under the post-graduate program.
Beltran told Dominguez during the Execom meeting that the PTA plan is for DOF senior officials to join the teaching team as adjunct professors.
The PTA will conduct the pre-requisite courses on journal writing skills and other minor courses, he said.
Earlier, Beltran said the PTA is also exploring a possible partnership with the Centre of Development Studies of the UK-based University of Cambridge in developing a study program on integrity education as a continuing course offering of the Academy.
The PTA’s program, curriculum and syllabus were developed based on ASEAN University Network Standards.
He said the PTA is also studying the possibility of using the UPLB’s College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAD) facilities near the Local Government Academy (LGA), also in Los Baños, to help set up its training center.
The PTA has also submitted to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) its three-year Strategic Information Plan, which includes setting up an information system for the Academy to facilitate knowledge sharing, Beltran said.
During PTA’s formal launch in February, Dominguez said this institution, which is the first of its kind in the country, will not only provide the country’s revenue collectors and administrators with continuing training on best practices to sharpen their competitiveness but will also aim to heighten their commitment to their profession and raise their ethical standards.
Dominguez said that on the watch of President Duterte, the DOF has taken a “great leap forward” in professionalizing revenue agencies by putting flesh to the PTA eight years after it was envisioned under Republic Act 10143.
Under RA 10143, the 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 (Bureau of Internal Revenue), the BOC (Bureau of Customs) and the BLGF 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 the said bureaus” “to pass the basic courses before they can be hired whether on contractual or permanent status.”
Dominguez said he expects the PTA to collect information from all over the world and build strong linkages between research and education, while ensuring “complementarity between professional training and professional management.”
He also wants the PTA to be the tool for developing continuing cooperation with other professional associations, development and funding institutions as well as foreign governments.