MANILA, June 18 (Reuters) – The president-elect of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, has appointed a central bank official with expertise in information technology as the next chief of the tax agency, his office said on Saturday.
Marcos, set to be sworn in late this month after a landslide win in the May 9 election, inherits a large government debt fueled by borrowing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
His family faces billions of dollars of unpaid taxes and penalties from the tax collection agency.
He tapped Lilia Guillermo, an assistant governor now spearheading the central bank’s drive to upgrade its information technology (IT) systems, to lead the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), where she was formerly a deputy commissioner.
Her strong IT background will help boost revenue through efficient tax collection, Marcos said.
His family has refused for years to pay a tax bill that media estimates put at USD 3.9 billion, including penalties, with the tax agency sending it a letter of demand in March regarding the unpaid taxes.
Marcos continues to fill his cabinet with technocrats and former ministry officials ahead of his June 30 inauguration.
On Friday, he nominated a former military chief as the next defence minister, and selected as his chief legal counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, a 98-year-old politician who helped oust Marcos’s father in a popular uprising in 1986.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)