By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara has urged accountant and auditors to assist in promoting financial transparency and helping the government collect the right taxes.
Angara made the call as he rallied certified public accountants (CPAs) to increase their contribution to the Philippines’ economic growth at the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Metro Manila Region Tax Conference 2019 held in Mandaluyong City.
The senator said CPAs have an important role to play in sustaining the country’s economic momentum it had achieved in the last 10 years.
“For financial transparency isn’t just about being truthful. It’s about being smart. It’s about making well-informed, data-driven decisions and who are better equipped to help in this effort than the number-crunchers among us?” Angara said.
Angara noted that the Philippines was able to sustain close to a decade’s worth of continuous economic growth.
During the period, he said, the country generated “momentum and fiscal space to finally break free from decades of chronic poverty.”
But for the country to reach a higher plane of development, the lawmaker said it has to make smarter decisions and the right investments in the right places “which would definitely require the expertise of CPAs.”
“We will need to have a proper assessment—an accurate balance sheet showing our assets and liabilities—of where we stand as a nation and accountants can contribute in this regard,” Angara said.
The senator also exhorted the CPAs to work towards bringing their clients to the path of honesty, rather than helping them avoid paying the right taxes, saying they should “not only to be exemplary professionals, but also exemplary patriots.”
“Because to defraud the government of taxes is to allow classrooms, hospitals, roads, airports and seaports to go to ruin,” Angara explained.
“It is to let teachers, nurses, policemen and soldiers to go unpaid,” said the Senate ways and means committee chief.
Angara reminded them that to allow greed and corruption to prevail in the system is to maintain the inequities that caused violence and poverty in the country.
“To be superfluous in the management of your organizations is to imperil the jobs and hence the lives of so many Filipinos and their families. To allow greed and corruption to take charge is to maintain the inequities that have caused violence and poverty in our streets,” he said.
Angara also called on the CPAs to become instruments of meaningful change. “All of us lead private lives, but what we do in our own time has an effect on other people’s lives,” he pointed out.
“You are not just mere accountants, you can be party to meaningful change in this country. You can be among those so-called few citizens who are thoughtful, committed and can change the world,” he emphasized. [Hannah L. Torregoza]