Hailing from Baguio City, Caesar “Billy” R. Dulay is a lawyer appointed as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner in June 2016 by Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte, the 16th President of the Philippines. The two have known each other for decades.
Dulay and Duterte stayed in the same dormitory when they were still law students in Ateneo Law School and San Beda College of Law, respectively. At the time, the latter would inherit most of the textbooks of the former, who was one year ahead.
Before studying law in Manila, Dulay graduated from Saint Louis University in 1966. He studied Philosophy and English.
Both of Dulay’s parents were originally from La Union. He and his five siblings studied in Mankayan, Benguet, when their father was assigned to work in Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation before their family eventually moved to Baguio City.
On Aug. 2, Duterte was the guest speaker of the celebration of the 113th anniversary of BIR held at the BIR national office in Quezon City. In his speech during the event, the President assured the Filipinos that the money collected by the bureau will be spent on the Filipinos.
The 113th BIR anniversary celebration did not start as scheduled. The President arrived at the venue hours after the scheduled start.
While waiting for Duterte to arrive, I was able to have a short interview with Dulay. I asked him about the common misconceptions about him and BIR.
Dulay did not want to talk about the misconception on him. It would be self-serving if he did, he said, so he will just let the public decide on that.
“On BIR, of course, they want us to improve our service to the public,” Dulay continued. “We’re working on that because alam mo naman ang mga taxpayers natin (you know, our taxpayers), they always have some issues about our procedures, etcetera. We’re working on that.”
Needless to say, Dulay does not want the comparison between him and former BIR Commissioner Kim Henares to come from himself. During the 113th anniversary celebration of the bureau, I learned that what made Dulay an effective commissioner is ironically the fact that he is not a tax expert.
This means that Dulay will make the tax system easier to be understood by the common people. He was also described by his colleagues as a humble man who does not enjoy the limelight.
On the other hand, Henares was often in the news when she was the BIR Commissioner for the Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III administration from 2010 to 2016. She spearheaded the Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) operation, which led to tax evasion cases being filed against actors Richard Gomez and Judy Ann Santos an singer Regine Velasquez.
Time and statistics will tell if Dulay is going to outperform Henares as BIR Commissioner. Meanwhile, watch my short interview with the current BIR Commissioner here: