BIR officials and employees are not allowed to accept nor solicit gifts, whether from the public or the private sectors, and are directed to immediately and politely return any gift that may be given. This is the gist of the “No Gift Policy” of the BIR in its Revenue Memorandum Order No. 40-2016 on July 4, 2016.
Section 27, Article II of the 1987 Constitution asserts that the State shall maintain honesty and integrity in the public service and take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption. Also, Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution and Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) declare that public office is a public trust; therefore public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
Furthermore, the Presidential Decree No. 46 signed by Ferdinand Marcos on November 10, 1972 makes it punishable for public officials and employees to receive and for private persons to give gifts on any occasion, including Christmas. Moreover, Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) is an act establishing a code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees, to uphold the time-honored principle of public office being a public trust, granting incentives and rewards for exemplary service, enumerating prohibited acts and transactions and providing penalties for violations thereof and for other purposes.