February 8, 2017 – Much-needed reforms initiated by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the last six months have brought about positive changes not just in terms of increased revenue collections but also in the mindset of its people.
This was the message delivered today by Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon at the BOC’s 115th Founding Anniversary with President Rodrigo Duterte as the guest of honor.
Faeldon stressed that these positive changes were the result of the combined efforts of its officials, employees and stakeholders.
Citing the anniversary theme of “United Towards Transformational Change,” he said the occasion is a fitting tribute to “the good men and women of the BOC” who perform their duties with honesty, integrity and a strong sense of accountability.
Among the positive gains cited by Faeldon were :
• Meeting revenue targets and growth in revenue collections from November 2016 to January 2017
• Cleansing of the ranks of importers’ investors’ list
• Removing of ‘hao-shiaos’ or undesirables from BOC offices
• Intensifying the campaign against illegal drugs that led to seizure of shipments valued at P2.2 billion
• Opening of 3,000 vacant plantilla positions held stagnant for years due to ‘padrino’ system;
• Continuing the anti-smuggling campaign
Faeldon said the BOC has come a long way in providing genuine public service since the start of the administration of President Duterte.
“We now enjoy an improved revenue collection,” he told the audience that included Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, diplomats and other guests.
“In fact, we have exceeded our target for the last quarter of 2016. We have also ensured an intensified campaign against illegal trade, and have placed more effective means in securing our country’s territorial borders. Indeed, change has come to this agency,” he also said.
This year, he said, the BOC will continue to draft policies for the efficient implementation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and await the approval of the implementing rules and regulations of the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act, among others.
He also bared that BOC has been upgrading its capabilities by purchasing 20 speedboats for border patrol to secure the country’s territorial waters from the proliferation of contrabands.
Faeldon said he hopes to complete the Port of Manila Maritime Trading District, a world-class facility that would provide a highly-modernized customs and port operations infrastructure and trading hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Faeldon further said the BOC is currently reviewing the possibility of exempting the agency from the Salary Standardization Law in order to offer more competitive compensations and other financial benefits to employees in order to motivate them.
He then urged stakeholders to join the BOC in promoting transparency, genuine public service to the people and a corruption-free government.
The BOC has since then filed cases against dishonest employees and stakeholders, and suspended the accreditation of erring brokers and importers.
Faeldon said more measures, such as initiatives for personnel hiring and promotion, and the proposed port development plan, would be introduced all the more to be able to make the monthly targets in revenue collections.
“But as we work on achieving all these, we continuously call on all our stakeholders to join us in our initiatives,” he said.
“Our officials have many plans for the Bureau. We’ will need the help of our employees and stakeholders to achieve a more vibrant Bureau of Customs this country deserves,” he stressed. #