Marcos vows to fight ‘endemic’ corruption in govt, bats for more efficient revenue collection

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) — President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. assured that he will fight corruption in government as he vowed to push for more efficient revenue collection.

In a briefing on Thursday, Marcos was asked about his marching orders for his appointees in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) when it comes to fighting corruption. He emphasized that "[t]here should not be any place for corruption," which he said has become endemic in some parts of the government.

“Corruption? Kalimutan na lang natin 'yung nakaraan….Ngayon ako na namamahala, so wala nang ganyan," he said. "Kung mayroon pang ganyan hahabul-habulin talaga namin kayo."

[Translation: Corruption? Let's forget the past. I'm now in charge, so that will not exist anymore. If there will still be corruption, we will go after you.]

Incoming press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles clarified that Marcos does not mean those with pending corruption cases will be cleared.

“Pending cases will continue because they are pending,” she pointed out.

“I think the approach as he had expounded in previous interviews is simply not to concentrate too much on fault finding, not in the sins of the past, because in his words ‘Ako na ang namamahala ngayon' [I'm now in charge],'” Cruz-Angeles added.

Marcos said it is vital to reduce "the corrosive influence of corruption in government as a general rule," otherwise the country will not succeed if both the BIR and the BoC fail to properly collect taxes and tariff.

Given their crucial role of revenue generation, the incoming president also said the BIR should make its operations more efficient and make people understand what the tax structure is.

As for the BOC, Marcos said ports should be developed to help business grow, which will enhance trade that will help boost tariff collections.

Marcos has yet to name his appointees to the two agencies, but confided that he has received many applications.