October 10, 2016 – Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon assumed office on June 30, 2016 facing the challenge of heading an office that has been identified as one of the country’s most corrupt government agencies.
The leadership of Commissioner Faeldon did not fail, as it has delivered on its first 3 months a number of reforms that has improved services in the Bureau.
The current BOC administration has already accomplished in its first 100 days the following:
Between July and September 2016, around P60.96 million worth of illegal drugs have been seized from different ports in the country. These drugs, wihich included marijuana, cocaine, shabu, and ecstacy, were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The bureau has also uncovered the smuggling of firearms through a balikbayan box in August this year. These firearms were later on found to be used for the alleged assassination of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Also seized in various ports were smuggled vehicles, fabrics, gadgets, and agricultural items like rice, onions and sugar. The Manila International Container Port (MICP) alone seized several shipments valued at P4.68 million.
In a press conference, Faeldon highlighted his promise to stop the entry of illegal goods and commodities in the country, particularly dangerous drugs.
Faeldon made clear his warning to corrupt BOC officials and employees even as he stressed the need to institute internal cleansing within the bureau.
To date, 18 cases of BOC employees have been investigated, with 14 cases already forwarded to the Department of Justice. Also, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) has acted on 22 complaints filed by stakeholders against BOC personnel.
For transparency, Faeldon went full blast in the installation of CCTV cameras in the Bureau’s offices as he promised during a Malacañang press conference in August.
At present, there are 158 operational CCTV cameras installed in and around the Port of Manila and OCOM building, including in Faeldon’s own office. Livestreaming is also made available online so that the public can access camera feeds.
Faeldon continuously appeals to stakeholders to cooperate with the BOC by reporting all corrupt activities.
“Do not isolate us. Instead, approach us and give us the opportunity to do our job,” he said.
For the implementation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) which was signed into law during the Aquino administration, a series of weekly public consultations took off in September this year for the drafting of its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The public consultations gathered stakeholders to discuss the draft Customs Administrative Orders (CAOs) under the CMTA.
In the same month, the bureau also organized a forum on streamlining permits for efficient trade facilitation. This was attended by trade-related government agencies and kicked off series of seminars on basic Customs procedures, rules and regulations for brokers, importers, and other stakeholders.
It also hosted international events like the 2016 World Customs Organization (WCO) – Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development (PICARD) Conference, and the First Train-the-Trainers Workshop on the Implementation ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) 2017.
To enhance the performance of the bureau, special offices/committees/departments were created such as the Committee on Revenue Enhancement to address revenue collection shortage in the past, and the Command Center to centralize issuance of shipment alert orders, and the Special Studies and Project Development Committee.
Around P1.4 million worth of additional duties and taxes were collected from August to September from undervalued shipments in Port of Manila (POM) and MICP that were subjected to spot checking
In addition, MICP generated a total of P50,598,968 in revenue from public auction sales it conducted from July to August.
These supplemented the monthly revenue collection targets of the bureau, which reached 85.9% and 95.2% for July and August, respectively. These figures are higher by 6% and 8%, respectively, compared to collections from the same months last year.
“We are digits higher than last year’s collection. 2014 and 2015 reports are same. Our plan is to improve the revenue collection of BOC,” Faeldon said. #