Quezon City, 18 March 2010 – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) launched its 2010 Handang Maglingkod Project (HMP) today to institutionalize the establishment of one-stop-shop Taxpayer Service Areas (TSAs) in all BIR offices rendering frontline services to taxpayers.The HMP launching coincided with the second BIR Command Conference this year where all Revenue Regions and Revenue District Offices are in attendance, together with representatives of each of the participating organizations – the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) who will all once again sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the BIR as the latter’s partner in promoting taxpayers service excellence in BIR frontlines.

Signing the MOA for the IBP, PICPA and PCCI were Atty. Maria Teresita C. Sison Go, Dr. Antonio P. Tecson and Ambassador Francis Chua, respectively. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Joel L. Tan-Torres signed for the BIR.

The institutionalization became imminent following the huge success of the project in 2009 where the HMP was lauded as one big-leap for the BIR in its quest for service excellence as an institution. The HMP was also the subject of study and possible adoption by other government agencies which witnessed the transformation of many BIR frontline offices into service-oriented units. The HMP also served as one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in the evaluation of the performance of Regional Directors and Revenue District Officers nationwide.

TSAs provide a specific reception area for taxpayers transacting with the BIR. While they promote the delivery of fast, efficient and courteous service to taxpayers, they will serve as one-stop-shops to address taxpayer needs without the necessity of a follow up or referral to other offices.

The TSAs will be open from 8 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the afternoon with NO NOON BREAK and will give taxpayers access to information on taxation, including office procedures. Best practices culled from various offices during last year’s competition will likewise be showcased in this year’s HMP.

A key feature of the TSA is the administration of a taxpayer service satisfaction survey which will give the BIR an idea of the kind of service it renders to the taxpayers. It will be strengthened to ensure taxpayers give their feedback on their experience with the BIR front-liners.

“This project will make our front-liners more pro-active, more caring and attentive to taxpayers, and engaged in the highest level of customer service. They will always be on their toes since the public, especially the IBP, PICPA and PCCI will be watching them. It is time to showcase the BIR as an institution of service excellence,” Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres stressed.

“The HMP will no doubt provide better, faster and more efficient service to taxpayers. By making things easier for taxpayers to transact their business with BIR, greater voluntary compliance is assured. Records reveal that the most efficient and effective approach to collecting higher revenues is by promoting greater voluntary compliance,” Tan-Torres added.

The project will once more provide some sort of a competition among Revenue District Offices (RDOs) and other BIR offices rendering frontline service to taxpayers. As it was last year, the HMP will serve as one of the factors in the reshuffle or reassignment of key BIR Officials. (reytdlc)