Exporters call on P-noy to axe ‘indifferent’ DOF official

By , on October 28, 2014

Department of Finance /  Photo Courtesy of dof.gov.ph
Department of Finance / Photo Courtesy of dof.gov.ph

A group of at least 18 exporters has urged President Aquino to replace Sheila Castaloni, an official of the Department of Finance (DOF), for fears that her “indifference” would lead to the demise of the country’s garment and textile industry.

The complainants – members of various manufacturing organizations – set forth a two-page letter, in which they lambasted Castaloni’s “unilateral” decision to suspend the processing of tax credit certificate (TCC). The official heads the DOF’s One-Stop Shop (OSS) Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center.

“Since she was appointed last July 16, Castaloni has effectively suspended the issuance and usage of TCCs to the detriment of export firms which rely on these TCCs to maintain their competitiveness in the world market,” the complainants said.

“We urge (Aquino) to replace Castaloni with a more qualified functionary who could manage the OSS Center with the knowledge and vision to support the Philippine export sector, especially one with unquestioned competence, integrity and probity,” they added.

The exporters alleged that Castaloni showed “indifference” since she assumed leadership of the OSS; an issue which the group had initially reported to Finance Undersecretary Carlo Carag but received “no word” as to what “official action” would be taken.

According to the group, Castaloni paid them a courtesy call, during which she reportedly requested for more time to familiarize herself with the job, although she “gave no indication as to how long she needed to gain the confidence to start performing her role as officer-in-charge of the OSS Center.”

The exporters then wrote Castaloni a letter, but were once more given the reply “that she was studying the claims that were now piling up on her table.”

“She has not asked us any questions about our claims pending in her office, nor has she written to any of the concerns and questions she may have that would help her establish the validity and legitimacy of our transactions,” the group said.

The letter to Aquino was sent by James Shih, president of Taiwan Association, on behalf of other export firms registered with the DOF’s Bureau of Investment. It was coursed through Finance Secretary, Cesar Purisima.